Jute mills seek better policy
Kolkata, May 16: The Indian Jute Mills Association has written to
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking a comprehensive policy to
help generate demand for jute bags and facilitate the reopening of closed mills.
Demand for bags from the various state government agencies for this year's rabi crop has significantly come down and is unlikely to improve
in the coming months, Indian Jute Mills Association chairman Raghavendra Gupta said.
"Had Bengal announced a state jute policy under which the packaging of
potatoes and rice could have been included, all jute mills in Bengal would have probably continued production well beyond April 2015," Gupta
said in the letter.
In the last two months, 15 mills have closed down. There are 59 mills in
the state, which offer livelihood to about 3 lakh workers. Gupta said about 1200 rice millers in Bengal were flouting the provisions of mandatory jute packaging.
Jute association to file anti-dumping case against Bangladesh
New Delhi, March 18: After cheaper jute products from Bangladesh flooding the domestic<
market, the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) is set to file an
anti-dumping case in the first quarter of the 2015-16 against subsidised exports.
“The association has been working on an anti-dumping case which should
be filed with the Ministry concerned within the next quarter. A
countervailing duty has to be either an anti-subsidy or anti- dumping
duty, both will be pursued simultaneously,” said Raghavendra Gupta,
The Bangladesh government offers a 10 per cent cash subsidy on jute
goods, such as bags and Hessian cloth, and a 7.5 per cent subsidy on
jute yarn. The government also provides 40 per cent and 20 per cent of
funding required by mills and exporters, respectively.
With import duty being nil under the SAARC treaty, as per industry
estimates, nearly two lakh tonnes of jute finished goods flow into India
from Bangladesh every year on the back of the “duty anomaly”.
The case will be filed with the Designated Authority heading the
Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), a body
under the Commerce Ministry, which will investigate and recommend
anti-dumping measures, if any, to the Centre.
India accounts for 70 per cent of the world’s estimated production of
jute goods, with the majority being used for packaging domestically.
Although a net exporter, India’s exporters have been hit with no exports
to Syria and Thailand, a combined market of 70,000 tonnes, over the last
two-three years due to political turmoil.
On average, Bangladeshi jute products are estimated to be 10 per cent
cheaper and imports surged by 35 per cent between April and December
2014. “Indian mills are working at almost 25 per cent below their
production capacity due to stifled demand,” added Gupta.
According to data from the Textiles Ministry, exports of jute goods
(Hessian, sacking, carpet backing cloth etc.) between April and December
2014 are estimated at 88,600 tonnes. For the 2013-14 fiscal
(April-March), India exported 216,000 tonnes of jute products.
“The volume of Indian exports is $300 million annually, which accounts
for 15 per cent of production. The subsidised export policy followed by
Bangladesh, our main competitor, makes it difficult for Indian
manufacturers to compete since it’s difficult to match their price,” he said.
Gupta also expressed hope that domestic orders, particularly by the
industry’s biggest buyer - the Food Ministry - which recorded a 35 per
cent decline last year, would pick up in 2015-16 with sustained demand. Source:thehindubusinessline.com
90% mandatory jute packaging for grain, 20% for sugar
New Delhi, February 2, 2015: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the mandatory packaging of 90 per cent of foodgrains produced in India as well as 20
per cent of sugar in jute bags for the 2014-15 crop season, which started in July 2014.
“This preserves the position as in the past and helps the jute sector. There have been many concerns that the reservation for jute packaging
would get reduced,” an official statement released after the meeting said.
Almost all the foodgrains procured by state-run Food Corporation of India is packaged in jute bags.
West Bengal produces 80 per cent of India’s total annual jute production of 11-12 million bales (one bale is 180 kg) and is home to almost all
the country’s jute mills. The state, which is slated for elections in mid-2016, is critical for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s foray into eastern India.
The Cabinet, however, said if the jute mills were not able to provide bags according to the requirement despite making a full advance indent,
then a relaxation of 10 per cent can be granted by the Department of Food in consultation with the textiles ministry.
This relaxation can be further extended up to 30 per cent in the event of any disruption in supply from jute mills.
Sugar meant for export and bulk packaging in excess of 100 kg have also
been exempted from this order. The CCEA okayed a financial support of Rs 55 crore for the Jute Corporation of India
(JCI) in order to offset the losses it suffered on account of undertaking minimum support price (MSP) operations.
JCI is the price-support agency of the Centre for jute to protect the interest of growers. It procures raw jute under the MSP fixed from time to time; it also stabilises the
raw jute market for the benefit of jute farmers and the jute economy as a whole. Source: Business Standard
Jute to make Kolkata book fair green
Kolkata, January 21, 2015: The 39th International Kolkata Book Fair, that begins January 28, is set to go green, courtesy kiosks stacking up on
innovative jute products to spread the message.
Organisers of the book fair, the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, have
joined hands with National Jute Board to set up as many as eight kiosks
selling low-cost jute bags spread across the book fair venue, the Milan
Mela grounds here, till Feb 8.
In addition, designer jute bags and diversified jute products will also be available.
"Several book sellers and publishers will also give away books in specially-made jute bags during the fair. Delegates and guests will be
given jute bags," said Dipankar Mahto, deputy jute commissioner and secretary, National Jute Board, while unveiling the new campaign 'Go
Green' for the promotion of use of jute among masses.
Mahto said jute is 100 percent environment-friendly and 100 percent biodegradable.
"Consumer habits of using plastic bags indiscriminately need to be replaced by biodegradable and eco-friendly jute bags and jute products
to create a greener and cleaner world," he said. - Source IANS