Jute-bag racket busted, linked to price fall
KOLKATA, July 27, 2015: The price of a jute bag, as declared by the jute
commissioner, is Rs 43. But it only costs Rs 34.67 in the open market.
The jute commissioner's office (under the textile ministry) has busted a racket that was supplying unbranded bags at half the stipulated price by
siphoning the product from the government supply chain.
The government, the biggest buyer, procures eight to nine metric tonnes bags spending Rs 4,500 crore to Rs 5,000 crore annually. To counter the
cheaper synthetic bags, the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPM Act) was enacted in 1987. So, 90 % of food grains and 20% sugar are mandatorily packed in jute sacks.
TOI has accessed a report that exposes the modus operandi behind the devaluation of jute bags. "All stakeholders — from mill owners,
procuring agencies that obtain the sacks for packing food grains and government officials
are involved in the organized racket," said Gouri Shankar Jain, who has filed an RTI on this.
A bag carries the names of the mill, procuring agency, the crop's production year etc. Five hundred bags are packed inside a bale which
also bears the same information. The mill owners first bribe the directorate of quality assurance (DQA) inspectors, who, instead of
embossing, pass the unbranded bales that are dispatched on trucks and railway wagons to railheads of the procuring states.
According to the report, the agents make a killing by selling the bags in private markets of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and
West Bengal. Manufacturers and mill owners purchase these bags at lower
rates and sell it to the government, which pays for new bags and gets the recycled ones.Source: indiatimes.com
Jute Geotextile for roads in state
Patna, July 6, 2015: National Jute Board (NJB) under the Ministry of Textiles,
Government of India and Rural Works Department, Government of Bihar in association with Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) endorsed the use of jute
geotextile (JGT) in Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for construction of roads in the State of Bihar through a day long thought
evoking workshop at the capital city of the state, Patna.
The need of jute geotextile and its efficiency in the protection of banks and beds of waterways, strengthening of roads, stabilization of
embankments, management of slopes, consolidation of soft soil and other soil related engineering applications were discussed and deliberated.
Distinguished members and esteemed delegates who attended and shared their views at the workshop were Vinay Kumar, Secretary, Rural Works
Department, Government of Bihar, Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Subhakriti Majumdar, Director
General, Indian Jute Mills Association, T. Sanyal, Chief Consultant, National Jute Board, and A. K. Khastagir, Project Manager, National Jute
Board and P. K. Choudhury, Principal Technologist, Indian Jute Industries Research Association (IJIRA), Rumki Saha, Technical Officer,
IJIRA and Saurabh Ganguly, Jute Geotextiles Marketing Head, IJMA. Although the industrys chief production area is packaging but this
innovative workshop also showcased how best jute can be put into use widely in building rural infrastructure in Bihar.
We are overwhelmed by the positive response from the Government of Bihar
through the interest shown towards the workshop on Jute Geotextile (JGT). With more than 100 civil engineers attending this workshop shows
that innovation and efficiency of the technology of using jute geotextile has earned significant support in Bihar, Subhakriti Majumdar,
Director General, Indian Jute Mills Association.
The Jute industry also urges the government to expedite the use of jute geo-textiles in at least 15pc of the road construction undertaken by the
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana programme, as using this product in about 200 projects across India has been found to be beneficial and cost
effective in road construction, river bank protection as well as hill slope stabilization. We hope that the Government of Bihar will take
cognizance of the proper use of jute geotextile and implement it in rural infrastructure, he said. JGT can be tailor-made to suit site-specific technical requirements. It
is absolutely environment-friendly and price wise cheapest among all varieties of geotextiles available in India at present.
Extensive studies with over 200 field applications (in road construction, river bank construction, slope management and Railways)
have demonstrated the effectiveness of JGT in strengthening road sub-grade, soil erosion control of river banks and superficial soil
control of all types of slopes of hills, roads, railways and flood embankments. USA and European countries have also used JGT for slope stabilization.
Indian Roads Congress (IRC) has recommended the use of JGT. Bureau of Indian Standards, Control of Erosion of Banks and Waterways and The
Research Design and Standards Organization of the Ministry of Railways have also indicated the suitability of JGT over various applications.
Jute geotextile scores over other materials because of its eco-friendliness, water absorption capacity, drapability and price
competitiveness. With more than 45 lakh farming families and 3.5 lakh workers engaged with the jute industry which is mainly concentrated in
the eastern part of India, jute geotextile if implemented across different projects in rural and urban India will prove to be an
alternative solution to the erstwhile flourishing industry of India. Source: IBNS
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