Govt eases mandatory jute use order up to 20 per cent
Kolkata, December 30, 2009: The textile ministry has diluted the mandatory jute packing order for
foodgrains by up to 20 per cent till May. This means 20 per cent of the foodgrains procured by various agencies can be packed in alternative materials.
In a notification issued today, the ministry said the move would ensure enough packing material for kharif and rabi crops. The jute industry may not be able to meet the demand for bags because of the indefinite strike since December 14.The order has taken by surprise both the mill owners as well as the Bengal government. The order comes within two days of Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s
meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where the problems of the industry were discussed. Bengal labour minister Anadi Sahu said the state government would take up the matter with the Centre soon.
The textile ministry has estimated that 10.48 lakh bales of jute bags will be required from November to February. The supply of bags was around 40,000 bales till December 14 when the strike began.The ministry sees a shortfall of 3.8 lakh bales because of the strike.
Jute mills seek PM’s help on price hike
Kolkata, December 28, 2009: The Bengal jute industry is hopeful that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will help it to meet to its long standing demand for higher B. Twill bag prices. The central government’s Tariff Commission had made a recommendation for higher prices, but this has not been implemented. The Union textile ministry has been sitting on a report
submitted in June this year by the Tariff Commission “We had no access to the Prime Minister’s Office, but now that Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee has taken up the issue with Singh on Sunday, we can expect something positive,’’ said Sanjay Kajaria, chairman of the Indian Jute Mills Association
(Ijma). Bhattacharjee said he had urged Singh to impress upon the Union textile ministry the need to adopt a firm and long-term policy on jute to safeguard it from competition from synthetic industry and facilitate exports.
The government and various state agencies annually buy over 15 lakh tonnes of the B. Twill bags —special sacks used in packing rice and wheat. According to the industry, the government was still
following an outdated system of calculating the pricing formula for the bags causing the industry to lose over Rs 300 crore since 2001.The implementation of the Tariff Commission’s recommendation
is also crucial to end the deadlock in the industry. The trade unions have gone on an indefinite strike since December 14 seeking implementation of the owners’ statutory obligations such as regularisation of provident fund and the payment of arrears. Over two lakh workers have been affected by the strike.
Ijma says the industry will be in a position to meet part of the demands of the unions if the government agrees to higher prices for the bags.
There have been five tripartite meetings so far with the unions to solve the deadlock. At these meetings, the owners insisted on implementing the Tariff Commission’s recommendations on higher bag prices, which would enable them to pay more to the workers. Source: The Telegraph
Jute mill gutted in Howrah
KOLKATA, December 26, 2009: A jute mill at Malipanc hghora in Howrah was gutted in a fire that broke out late on Thursday. Almost 24 hours later, the fire was still to be fully doused when reports last came in on Friday. Seventeen fire tenders have been sent so far to bring the blaze under control. Firefighter
Munnalal Chouvey was injured while trying to douse the fire and was admitted to TL Jaiswal hospital.
Fire services officials said they were yet to find out the cause of fire. Though it is suspected to be
caused by a short circuit, There was nobody inside the jute mill on Joy Bibi Lane on Thursday night as night shift work was not done due to Christmas on Friday. Fire fighters had a tough time controlling the fire as strong winds were flowing in from the river, beside which the jute mill is located.
Pranab Mukherjee takes up Bengal jute strike
Kolkata, December 25, 2009: Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said he had taken up the matter relating to the ongoing jute workers' strike in West Bengal with central trade unions and the state labour ministry. "I have already held some discussions with the central trade unions and state
minister for labour on the issue," Mukherjee said at the inauguration of the BNCCI-sponsored 23rd
Industrial India Trade Fair here. The jute workers' strike which began on December 14 entered the 13th day today.
Tripartite meeting called to end jute strike
KOLKATA, December 19, 2009: To resolve the stalemate caused by the indefinite jute strike in West Bengal since Monday, the State government has called a tripartite meeting on Saturday, resuming the reconciliatory process.The chairman of the Indian Jute Manufacturers Association, Sanjay
Kajaria, said this was a positive move. The strike was called by 20 trade central unions including the Bharatiya
Mazdoor Sangh after the breakdown of five rounds of talks between the State Labour Department, the management and the trade unions.
Chief Labour Commissioner to visit WB
New Delhi, December 17, 2009 (PTI): In in the backdrop of the jute mill workers in West
Bengal going on an indefinite strike, the Chief Labour Commissioner is expected
to visit the state on December 23 to hold discussions with the government on the
prevailing situation there. During his visit, S Mukhopadhyay is also expected to release a report of an
expert committee constituted last year to look into the problems of workers in the jute industry, said a Labour Ministry source.
The workers, who went on strike from December 14, are demanding job security and
payment of arrears in dearness allowance and removal of anomalies in payments of
provident fund, gratuity and bonus among others. Several trade unions have also extended their support to the striking workers.
The state Labour Minister Anadi Sahu also called on Minister of State for Labour
and Employment Harish Rawat and discussed about the strike and the workers demands.
Altogether 52 of the 54 jute mills in West
Bengal were closed today
Kolkata, December 14, 2009 (PTI) Altogether 52 of the 54 jute mills in West Bengal,
employing 2.5 lakh people were closed today, after an indefinite strike was
called by 19 unions demanding payment of dearness allowance, provident fund, gratuity, bonus and minimum wages.
The unions also want the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) procure bales directly
from farmers for supply to the mills. General Secretary of Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Union Gobinda Guha told PTI that 52
to of the 54 mills were closed.
The Central Jute Mill at Budge Budge and the Meghna Jute Mill at Jagaddal were
open. "We hope that the two mills which remain open will respond to the strike call,"
However, a meeting with the Chairman of Indian Jute Manufacturer's Association
(IJMA) Sanjay Kajeria remained inconclusive. The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliated to the BJP also joined the strike.
Use of jute bags
Lok Sabha, November 26, 2009 (PIB) :At present there is no proposal with the Government to dilute the reservation norms for compulsory use of jute bags by 25 per cent. This was stated by the Minister of State of Textiles, Smt . Panabaaka Lakshmi in the Lok Sabha today, in a written reply to a question by Shri Gurudas Dasgupta and Shri Bibhu Prasad Tarai.
The reservation for Jute Packaging Material for packaging of foodgrains under the Jute Packaging Material (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 leads to consumption of around 58% of the jute produced in the country. By bringing into effect the provision of JPM Act the Government provides relief to 37 lakh workers employed in Jute Mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families. Besides, it helps to protect the environment because jute is a natural,
biodegradable and reusable fibre. The dilution, if any, is affected in the packaging norms only after consultation with all the stakeholders to avoid disruption of foodgrain procurement in the country.
TUs call indefinite strike in jute mills from December 14
Kolkata November 18, 2009 (BS) : About 20 trade unions operating in jute mills have decided to go for an indefinite strike from December 14 this year, demanding payment of their statutory requirements, primarily
dearness allowance, provident fund, gratuity and bonus. “At a meeting attended by 20 trade unions
working in the jute industry we have unanimously decided to go on an indefinite strike,” said Gobinda Guha, General Secretary, Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Union.
The workers have also urged the Union Government to authorise the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) to procure jute directly from the jute growers and supply it to the industry, he added. “The indefinite strike will escalate jute prices further,”
said Sanjay Kajaria, chairman, Indian Jute Mills’ Association (IJMA).
In 2007 there was an industry wide strike for 63 days, which was followed by another 18 days' strike in 2008.There are nearly four million farmers involved in the raw jute production in West Bengal. “Prices of finished Hessian goods has already increased by about nine per cent from Rs 55,000 per tonne to Rs 60,000 per tonne over the last fortnight as they have already discounted for the forthcoming strike,” said
Kajaria. The jute industry has been witnessing labour unrest and frequent strikes over the last few years on issues like non-payment of standing provident fund (PF) and gratuity dues.
In May last year, a personnel of a jute mill in Titagarh, North 24-Parganas, was battered to death in his office on the
mill premises, while the Sangrami Mazdoor Union (SMU) conducted protests in the premises.
Fire damages jute mill in Howrah
Howrah (WB), November 15, 2009 (PTI): A portion of Fort William jute mill was destroyed by fire today at
Shibpur in Howrah town. The police said four fire tenders have been trying to douse the flame since 2
pm. The fire is under control now, Fire Brigade officials said. The cause of fire and the extent of damage were unknown, the police said.
The area near the jute mill has been cordoned off.
Trade unions are planning a fresh round of
Kolkata, November. 9:
2009: Trade unions in the jute industry are planning a fresh round of agitation. This has prompted veteran industrialist S.S. Kanoria to
urge chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to take initiative and prevent workers from going on a strike.
Mamata lines up projects and reviving the jute industry
Kolkata, November 9, 2009: Several industrial projects planned in and around the city will commence soon, said Mamata Banerjee on Sunday. “Work on the coach factory at Kanchrapara will start between a
month and a month and a half. I have sent the proposal to the Planning Commission and expect approval any day,” she said. The component factory at Hooghly’s Dankuni and a high-speed bogie casting unit at Majherhat, South 24-Parganas, were next on the cards, the minister said.
Mamata also spoke about reviving the jute industry. “There are many closed jute mills in and around Kanchrapara. The jute industry will be revived and there are other plans as well,” the minister stated.
Jute Manufacturers Council to organise roadshows, events to boost sales
KOLKATA, November 2, 2009 : In a renewed bid to expand the domestic market for diversified jute
products (DJPs), the Jute Manufacturers Development Council (JMDC) is on course to organise a series of roadshows and buyers-sellers meets in major cities to boost sales of those products.
The promotional programme, which in the first round has covered places like Mumbai,
Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore in the first half of the current year, is set to start its second round with organising roadshows and buyers-sellers meets in Goa. The weak-long
programme, billed as ‘Goa Jute Week’, begins Wednesday to catch the attention of tourists to a wide range of DGPs - including jute
made- ups, home furnishings, floor coverings, handicrafts and other gift and novelty items.
For getting good response from retail customers for DJPs, especially jute hand bags and shopping bags, such week-long shows on DJPs will again be rotated in New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the coming months, said JMDC secretary Atri Bhattacharya. In this endeavour, JMDC has tied up with
state- level handicrafts and handloom promotional bodies and Central Cottage Industry Emporium.
At present, DJP’s production is estimated at Rs 400 crore in the Rs 5,000-crore total jute goods market. So far, its manufacturers largely lean on export markets, which as eco-friendly bi-degradable products, enjoy a niche market worldwide. Out of total jute goods exports of around Rs 1,200 crore last year, DJPs accounted for a 35% share. But with recession continuing in the world trade, JMDC has been asked by the textile ministry to beef up its promotional measures for the domestic market. As an arm of the textile ministry, JMDC acts as a nodal agency to promote DJPs’ marketing at home and abroad.
- The Economic Times
Govt to increase MSP for raw jute: Maran
Kolkata, October 7, 2009 (PTI) Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran today said the government
is in favour of increasing the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute by at least Rs 300 per quintal."There is a need to encourage farmers to increase the production of raw jute in
the country," Maran said at an interaction on the future of Indian jute industry here.
At present, the MSP for raw jute stands at Rs 1,375 per quintal. Criticising the jute industry for failing to modernise factories Maran said,
"Since there is a definite business from the government, the industry has become lethargic."
"There is a need to change attitude and the industry has to wake up," he said.Unlike the cotton technology mission, he said, the progress of the jute
technology mission is slow. "The jute industry needs to diversify to protect its future.
Jute and cotton bags are back in demand in HP
Shimla, October 2, 2009: Jute and cotton bags are back in demand as Himachal Pradesh
say goodbye to non-biodegrable polythene bags on Friday. In 1999, Himachal Pradesh was the first state to ban recycled colour polythene
bags. All kinds of polythene bags are currently banned in Jammu and Kashmir,
Delhi and Chandigarh. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said traders had been given more than one and a
half month’s time to switch over to biodegrable bags. Initially, the ban was to come into force on August 15, as per a Cabinet
decision taken in June 2009. Opposing the decision, traders had met the CM and
asked for a month’s time to exhaust their stock of carrybags.
Under the provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Biodegrable Garbage (Control)
Act 1995, violators of the ban, including citizens, tourists, traders and
commercial establishments, will be punished with a fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
The notification issued by the HP Pollution Control Board says the dumping of
used polythene carry bags at public places and hill slopes will also be an offence.
The board has proposed to install hoardings and display boards at the state’s
entry points and other places. Tourists coming to the state on October 2 will be
given jute and cotton bags as a symbolic gesture. - Express India
New fibre law may level tax for synthetic & cotton fibre
NEW DELHI, September 26, 2009: The textile ministry is working on a policy to bring parity between cotton and synthetic fibres, textile minister Dayanidhi Maran said. India’s existing policies are biased in favour of cotton. India’s consumption of natural and man-made fibres is in the ratio of 60:40 as against the global trend of 35:65. The proposed move will suggest ways to end this disparity, he said. The policy will be ready by the end of this year. “The national fibre policy will look into ways
towards increasing exports and to boost local demand,” he added. The policy is being formulated by a 41-member expert group consisting of textile exporters and policy experts headed by textiles secretary Rita
Menon. “There is a need to have a policy on taxation and pricing of all these fibres to ensure that there is a
level-playing field,” Indian Spinners’ Association president VK Ladia said.
There is no comprehensive policy governing fibres in India. Cotton, for instance, as an agricultural
product is being handled by the agriculture ministry, jute by the commissioner of jute while man-made fibres is being taken care of by the ministry of heavy chemicals, he said.
Source: The Economic Times
Jute futures may be banned from November
Bhubaneswar September 22, 2009 (BS): After suspending futures trading in sugar from May 26 till December this year, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is mulling a similar ban on jute from
November, according to industry officials. The ban is being considered as futures trading is believed to have led to a rise in prices of raw jute in the domestic market. Jute industry sources said the government might impose the ban from early November. The move is expected to rein in prices of raw jute.
Earlier this month, the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the apex body of the jute industry in the country, had sought the intervention of the Union textiles ministry for such a ban.The IJMA had appointed Technopak Advisors, a management consulting firm, to study the impact of futures trading on raw jute prices. According to its report, the trading has abnormally scaled up prices, which has adversely affected jute trade without benefiting the cultivators.
Raw jute prices in the domestic market had touched an all-time high of Rs 30,200 a tonne in July this year before falling to the current level of around Rs 21,000 a
tonne.The report said the price rise had benefited only the intermediaries in jute trade like farias (small traders),
stockists, mill agents and brokers, leaving the farmers high and dry. In 2008-09, farmers got an average price of Rs 14,780 a tonne,
lower than the average yearly market price of raw jute by Rs 5,570 a
tonne. Moreover, industry sources said the abnormal price increase had rendered jute products non-competitive in the market, prompting users to switch to synthetic fibres. The report further stated that raw jute was not suitable for futures trading as the market for the commodity was very small both in volume and value terms as compared with other major agri commodities.
The market size of raw jute is in the range of Rs 2,000-3,000 crore a year as against the combined market size of rice and wheat (two commodities in which futures trading is banned), which is more than Rs 50,000 crore a year.
Centre to continue 100% reservation for jute bags
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar September 09, 2009, In a major relief to the jute industry in the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to continue 100 per cent reservation for jute bags for packaging of sugar and food grains by the government procuring agencies. The decision was taken at a meeting of CCEA held on Monday. The continuation of 100 per cent reservation under the Jute
Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) of 1987 has put to rest all speculation of a possible 25 per cent dilution recommended by the Centre’s Standing Advisory Committee chaired by the Union textiles ministry.
The dilution proposal had led to an unprecedented situation which had resulted in a progressive decline in prices of raw jute and jute goods in this
Textiles ministry calls for third party study on jute logistics
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar, September 04, 2009: Responding to the concerns raised by the jute industry
pertaining to the supplies of jute goods, the Union textiles ministry has called for a third party study by the Directorate General of Supply and Disposal (DGS&D) to streamline logistics issues of the industry. The textiles ministry has pointed out that the procurement of jute bags by the government procuring agencies which used to be 16-17 lakh bales per annum has now gone up to 24-25 lakh bales every year.
The ministry is taking necessary steps to ensure that the production capacity of the jute industry in the country is geared up to meet the said requirement.
Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the apex body of the jute industry in the country had earlier
suggested certain Terms of Reference for the third party study and the textiles ministry is in agreement with the same. The ministry is also prepared to provide funds for implementation of the recommendations of DGS&D in case of fund constraints. The ministry is in favour of appointing a third party assessor
for the study and wants the study to be commissioned at the earliest so that the challenges of logistics and despatch of jute goods can be managed in a professional manner. In its Terms of Reference, IJMA had suggested to examine whether staggered indenting was beneficial or rake wise orders should be allowed for the individual jute mills. IJMA has suggested the introduction of a long-term procedure
of system inspection and the need for a bilateral agreement between the Government and the other procuring
agencies of jute bags. On logistics issues, IJMA has suggested DGS&D to work out a scientific model on despatch of jute goods through road and railways. It has also stressed on revising handling
and branding charges of jute goods.
Source: Business Standard
JCI asked to purchase raw jute directly from farmers
Jangipur/west Bengal August 31, 2009,(PTI) :The Jute Corporation of India has been asked to purchase raw jute directly from farmers instead of middlemen, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said. Though the JCI was supposed to buy jute from farmers, it was not doing so, Mukherjee said. He criticised the jute mill owners' inability to use up-to-date technology in producing goods that would compete favourably with the synthetic alternative in the world market.
This was despite the fact that worldwide governments were encouraging use of jute bags and other products as they were environmentally safe, the minister regretted. He also called upon jute
manufacturers to improve the quality of finished goods as well as marketing strategy to compete in the world market which has gravitated towards synthetic materials for price advantage and other factors.
Mukherjee was addressing the conference of employees of the JCI at Raghunathganj near here.
Jute industry seeks third party study on logistics issues
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar August 24, 2009: With a view to streamline the supply of jute bags, the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has sought third party study on logistics issues connected with the
despatch of jute goods. The association has pointed out that the third party study needs to be commissioned at the earliest by the Directorate General of Supply and Disposal (DGS&D) to overcome the problem. IJMA has written a letter to DGS&D in this regard. "The Union textiles secretary has already suggested to DGS&D that a third party study on logistics issues connected with the despatch of jute goods needs to be commissioned. We would request that the third party study should be commissioned at the earliest", said Sanjay Kajaria, chairman, IJMA in a letter to DGS&D on Friday.
The issues pertaining to logistics of the dispatch of jute
bags were taken up in a meeting held on Monday between VP Gupta, deputy director general (S&D) and the representatives of
IJMA. The DGS&D had earlier pointed out that the jute mills should not be penalised with demurrage by the Indian Railways if the mills failed to receive the railway receipts in time from the contractors.
Raw jute prices have fallen 40 percen
Kolkata, August 18, 2009: Raw jute prices have fallen 40 percent to 18,000 rupees per tonne amid
concerns the government may cut reservation of jute bags in packaging of
foodgrains and sugar it procures by about 25 percent, as per the Jute Packaging Materials Act of 1987.
Ethiopia keen on jute, leather joint ventures in Bengal
Kolkata, August 3, 2009 (IANS): Ethiopia is keen to form joint ventures with companies in
West Bengal in sectors like jute and leather, a senior Ethiopian diplomat said
here Monday. “We have spoken to the chief minister (Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) today morning
about future cooperation with West Bengal,” said Gennet Zewide, Ethiopian ambassador to India.
“We are looking into joint ventures. Thee could be private to private or state
to state,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference by Emami
Biotech to announce the company’s plantation project in Ethiopia.Indian investments in Ethiopia have jumped to $4.1 billion in the last three
years, up from $350 million before that, Zewide said.
New crop fails to ease raw jute prices
Bhubaneswar July 24, 2009; The recent arrival of new crop has failed to ease prices of raw jute in the domestic market with the prices ruling at Rs 30,000 a tonne. The possibility of a further increase in prices has raised serious concerns in the jute industry. According to data compiled by the Jute Balers’
Association, the price of raw jute on July 20 this year stood at Rs 30,100 a tonne compared to the
average price of Rs 27,670 a tonne in June this year. The prevailing price of raw jute in this month has more than doubled as against the average price of Rs 14,880 a tonne in July last year.
The price of B Twill jute bags was ruling at Rs 41,500 a tonne (as on July 20 this year) which is 45.3 per cent higher than the average price of these bags for the month of July last year. The raw jute price
touched alarming levels at a time when raw jute is more or less unavailable, trading volumes are minimal
and the jute mills across the country are starved of the fibre crop. Industry sources said there is hardly any price difference between the old and new crop which indicates massive speculation. Moreover, there is a fear of the new crop getting impacted by speculative and shady jute operators indulging in
fatka or dhabba trade.
Apart from speculative trading, there is illegal hoarding of the new crop by speculators with the intention of rigging prices and maximising the profit at the cost of the jute industry. The jute industry is the victim of the market forces where bulls and bears are operating through futures trading in raw jute, added sources. The jute industry has been making abortive attempts to put an end to futures trading in jute for the past one year. According to the estimates of the jute industry, the annualized price volatility for raw jute could be over 53 per cent as against the normal 12.6 per cent worked out by National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).
Concerned over the problems of the jute industry in the wake of spiralling prices of raw jute fuelled by speculative trading, the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has sought the intervention of the Jute Commissioner. IJMA has written to Binod Kispotta, the Jute Commissioner for redressal of the grievances of the jute industry and restore normal condition in the raw jute market to ensure smooth industrial operations of the jute mills.
Jute seeds disappear from government counters
Kendrapara, July 19, 2009: With seeds ‘mysteriously' disappearing from governmental sale counters, hundreds of jute farmers are left disconcerted. With time running out fast for the sowing operation, the
farmers have seemingly lost hope for taking up the cash crop cultivation this year. As reports indicate,
two-third of the jute crop areas is still lying uncultivated. The seeds supplied by the directorate of agriculture are
sold off in the open market. Most prospective buyers have not received a single seed grain, alleged farmers. The prevailing mess over the scarce availability of jute seeds is mainly due to the facts that, a greater number of farmers have opted for growing jute this year.
Over 10,000 farmers have taken to jute farming this year. Thus, the 89.34 quintals of seeds supplied by the
National Seeds Corporation had failed to meet with the rising demands, and it got exhausted days within the opening of sale counters. Since the sowing operation can continue for two weeks from now, arrangements are being made to provide seeds to the remaining farmers, official sources said. While 1,875 hectares of land had been covered under jute cultivation last season, 3,800 hectares of land would be cultivated this year, if the seeds are available within a week, added official sources.
IJMA seeks reversal of 25% dilution proposal
Bhubaneswar July 15, 2009: The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has sought reversal of the
proposed 25 per cent dilution, recommended by the Centre’s Standing Advisory Committee in 2009-10, in the use of jute bags for packaging of foodgrain meant for government procurement. Sources said, the recommendation for 25 per cent dilution has gained momentum and the Union textile ministry is learnt to
have prepared a Cabinet note, upholding the move of the committee.
Concerned over the development, IJMA has approached Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee, the Union Cabinet ministers hailing from West Bengal, to initiate steps at appropriate levels to reverse the proposed 25 per cent dilution. IJMA fears that the 25 per cent dilution would lead to use of polymer bags, which will reduce orders leading to production cut, closure of more jute mills and intermittent lay-offs in
the jute industry. It has also written to Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee, the West Bengal chief minister, on July 9 for redressal of the grievances of the jute industry, said Sanjay
Kajaria, chairman, IJMA.
The jute association has sought Bhattacharjee’s intervention in taking up the issue of the proposed dilution with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and textiles minister Dayanidhi
Maran.IJMA has called for continuation of the 100 per cent reservation for jute bags for packing foodgrain meant for government procurement under the Jute Packaging Materials Act
(JPMA) of 1987. The demand has been made by IJMA in the interests of the 4.4 million jute cultivators and industrial workers in West Bengal. The state has 59 jute mills.The recommendation for dilution was made amidst concerns of a dip in raw jute
production in the country and the projected shortfall in supply of 600,000 bales of gunny bags this year.
Source: Business Standard
Dry July threatens farmers' livelihood
RAIGANJ, JULY 14, 2009: Transplantation of aman paddy seedlings has started to be affected in
different blocks of North Dinajpur district due to the lack of rain. If the area has not received
rainfall at the end of the fortnight, jute retting will also be affected and the farmers of the district will suffer financially.
With the help of shallow machines the farmers have already prepared aman paddy seedlings, but an adequate rainfall by the end of July is essential for transplanting the seedlings.
According to the officials of North Dinajpur Agricultural department, this year rainfall has been at extremely low levels in the North Dinajpur district. The lowest rainfall in the district was reported from Raiganj, Itahar, Kaliayganj and
Hemtabad. The Principal Agricultural Officer of North Dinajpur district, Mr
Balaichand Chakraborty, said: “The ideal annual rainfall for North Dinajpur district is 1,400 mm. In July we need at least 400 m.m. But so far this year July has only yielded 113 m.m. rainfall. If we do not receive another 300 mm. rainfall in a week, the transplanting of
aman paddy will be severely affected. Jute plants of the district have matured, and they will also be adversely affected if the rain does not come soon.”
Source: The Statesman
'Total ban on plastic bags bad idea' says government
NEW DELHI , July 9, 2009: The government made it clear that it is not in favour of a blanket ban on
useing plastic bags while it is working on use of biodegradable plastic as colouring elements like dyes are a health hazard and thin bags and material can severely jam up sewage systems.
Minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh told Lok Sabha on Wednesday that while reducing plastics was necessary, the material had been promoted initially to save paper and trees. He
sought to argue that if municipalities made a better effort to manage their solid waste, the plastic problem would reduce considerably.
The government, he said, was working on use of biodegardable plastic as reverting to paper bags could be even more hazardous to the environment. People had switched to use of plastic rather than paper the world over some 20 years ago to slow down deforestation. "Plastic itself is a chemically inert substance, used worldwide for packaging and is not per-se hazardous to health and environment. Recycling of plastic, if carried out as per approved procedures and guidelines, may not be an environmental or health hazard," Ramesh said, assuring the House that the government would have a stringent monitoring mechanism in place to ensure that the right kind of
re-cycleable plastic is used.
"We are moving towards thicker and bio-degradable bags. Bio-degradable is at a nascent stage... some establishments have started using it," the minister said. On the recycling of plastic, he said it would be undertaken in accordance with specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). He also advocated use of jute bags as another alternative to paper bags, as jute was an eco-friendly material.
Govt. hikes jute MSP by 10 per cent to Rs 1,375 a quintal
New Delhi (PTI) The Government on day increased by 10 per cent the minimum support price of jute to Rs 1,375 per quintal for 2009-10.
The decision to hike jute's minimum support price (MSP) for the TD-5
grade (ex-Assam) was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) here. "The increase in the MSP is expected to encourage the farmers to step up investment in jute
cultivation...," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the CCEA meeting.
The Jute Corporation of India (JCI) would continue to act as nodal agency to undertake price support operations and the losses, if any, will be fully reimbursed by the government.Jute production is estimated at 95.31 lakh bales during the 2008-09 season, compared with 102.21 lakh bales in the previous season. One bale is 180
kgs. The bulk of the jute production in the country comes from West Bengal, Bihar,
Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura.
JK Jute Mill on verge of closure again
Kanpur , June 12, 2009: The re-opening of Juggilal Kamlapat (JK) Jute Mill in October 2008 was
cause enough to rejoice. But within eight months, the tussle between the management and employees’ unions
has brought the mill on verge of closure again. The two sides have locked horns over issues that include Medical Facilities
under ESI, salary hikes, permanent job to all employees, dearness allowance and
retirement age. Delay in the payment of salary for May has deepened the chasm.
Violence on June 6 brought matters to a head. The management had to suspend work
from June 8. But in defiance to the management orders, work is still being
carried out by the employees. The union leaders, meanwhile, accuse the management of failing to live up to its
commitment made in October 2008.
Jute imports from Bangladesh become costlier by 76 per cent
Kolkata June 10, 2009: The value of raw jute imports, mainly from Bangladesh, has increased more than 76 per cent over the last year, even as the quantity of imports has fallen almost six per cent. In contrast, the quantity of import of jute goods from Bangladesh increased by almost 19 per cent for April 2009 and
the value also increased by about 73 per cent, according to the latest jute import figures by the
Government of India. Imported jute from Bangladesh is mainly used for manufacturing value-added
products by millers in India. However, the mills have failed to diversify and modernise infrastructure, giving
way to Bangladesh jute products into India.Like India, jute crop in Bangladesh was short by about 30 per
cent last crop season.
As a result of the supply-demand mismatch, the exporters in Bangladesh have been raising prices and there have been several instances of non-commitment of supply contracts by shippers, said Sanjay
Kajaria, chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA).Besides, jute exports from Bangladesh have been increasing to China and Pakistan.
Recently, the Bangladesh government had announced a 34.24 billion taka ( $500 million) stimulus
package for key sectors of the economy, which included 4.50 billion taka cash subsidy for the jute, leather and frozen food exports. The government had also increased the subsidy on exports of jute goods by 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent.
Last year, the Indian government had also reduced the import duty on jute and jute products from 10 per cent to nil, which led to a substantial rise in imports. IJ MA had also urged the government to remove the duty in view of severe competition from Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the domestic jute prices continue to rise, and there are apprehensions of a late crop due to adverse weather conditions. Raw jute prices continue to be in the range of Rs 2,300-2,500 a quintal. The prices have been on a rise since June 2008, when jute spot prices were close to Rs 1,400 a quintal. The prices increased to Rs 2,000 a quintal in February 2009. The industry is also likely to suffer due to Centre’s Standing Advisory Committee’s decision use of non-jute bags, up to 25 per cent, for use packaging government procured food grains. - BS
Jute mills sore over standing committee dilution proposal
Bhubaneswar June 02, 2009: The jute mills across the country are sore with the
recommendations of the Centre’s Standing Advisory Committee to allow a dilution of up to 25 per cent in the use of jute bags for packaging foodgrains meant for government procurement.
The recommendation for a 25 per cent dilution in packaging foodgrains for government procurement was made recently at a meeting of the committee comprising of officials from the Union ministries of agriculture, food, textile and petrochemicals.
The recommendation is expected to be placed soon for approval before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Union government.
The standing committee has recommended a 25 per cent dilution amidst concerns of a dip in jute production in the country in the wake of the closure of eight jute mills in West Bengal and another nine jute mills in the state which were blacklisted for their low quality production.
The jute production in the country is projected at 9 million bales this fiscal and the standing committee is of the view that this level of jute production would not be adequate to meet the packaging requirements of foodgrains meant for government procurement.
Sources said the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the representative body of the jute mills association in the country has taken exception to this dilution plan of the committee. IJMA is likely to submit a petition to the Union textiles ministry soon, voicing its concerns on the issue. The association was also likely to approach the West Bengal
government on the issue, keeping in view the impact of the dilution plan on the Indian jute industry.
According to the Jute Packaging Materials Act of 1987, food grains and sugar procured by the Food Corporation of India
(FCI) and the state food procuring agencies had to be mandatory packed in jute bags up to a level of 100 per cent.
Source: Business Standard