The jute fraternity on Wednesday applauded the government for the step approving reservation norms for mandatory use of jute in packaging foodgrains and sugar, which will also make a favourable impact on West Bengal's economy.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved reservation norms for Jute Packaging Materials for Jute Year 2021-22 - July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
As per the reservation norms, 100 per cent foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar will be packed in jute bags during Jute Year 2021-22. The decision is likely to bring relief to 3.7 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units.
"We are thankful to the government for their decision on continued reservation for packaging of food grain and sugar in jute bags. This will take the jute industry and its millions of stakeholders on a growth trajectory, Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) chairman Raghavendra Gupta said.
This will increase the scope for more employment and increase farmers' income, he said.
"The government of India has again chosen the sustainable and environment friendly route whereas the whole world is struggling from the repercussions of pollution caused by synthetic industrial packaging, Gupta said.
Former IJMA chairman Sanjay Kajaria said that the jute industry along with both the central and state governments urgently require to focus on raw jute production as inadequate raw material supply will hurt all stakeholders.
The government decision will be beneficial for West Bengal as, of the around 75 jute mills across the country, 62 are in the state. Some 2.5 lakh mill workers and 40 lakh farmers are also associated with the industry in West Bengal.
The jute industry occupies an important place in the national economy of India in general and the Eastern region in particular. States such as West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jute mills.
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