Fire breaks out in jute mill in West Bengal
Howrah, December 18, 2010 (PTI}: A major fire broke out in a jute mill at Chengail in Howrah district today though there was no report of any injury or casualty, Fire Brigade sources said. The fire broke out in the Chengail
Premchand Jute Mill in the afternoon. Six fire tenders were immediately rushed to the area. After fighting the blaze for three hours the firemen
brought the fire under control, the sources said. The jute mill sources suspect that jute worth around rupees one crore was destroyed in the fire. About 1000 workers work in the jute mill.
Jute mills losing Rs 1000 per tonne on faulty calculation
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar December 13, 2010: The jute mills in West Bengal are losing Rs 900-1000 per tonne on jute bags owing to a faulty calculation made by the Jute Commissioner's office. The mill owners have claimed that between July 2009 and August 2010, the industry has lost around Rs 42
The mill owners have alleged that they are being forced to buy low grade jute at high price and sell the
manufactured jute bags to the government at low prices because of a faulty calculation being made by the Jute Commissioner's (JC's) office. The JC office fixes the price of B Twill jute bags meant for Govt. purchase based on the average of three months' price quoted by the Jute Balers Association (JBA), a private raw jute agency and significant body in
Kolkata. While the raw jute prices quoted by JBA are shown as low, in actual practice, the jute mills are buying the fiber at higher prices from the market.
A number of jute mills in West Bengal have joined hands to take up the issue with the JC office. “The jute mill owners are suffering because of this faulty calculation of the JC's office”, said a mill owner on condition of
anonymity. The mill owners are purchasing the lower grade raw jute with a 21 -25 per cent moisture content at a higher price of around Rs 36000 tonne from the market.
But, they are forced to sell the manufactured jute bags to the government at a lower price as the JC office is making its calculation on the price of jute bags based on the average three months' price of raw jute taken at Rs 35000 per tonne and that too with a lower moisture content of 18 per cent. “The government is now purchasing jute bags at a price of Rs 55350 per tonne while it should be purchasing that at around Rs 56350 per tonne”, said an official of the Indian Jute Mills' Association (IJMA).
The industry has been demanding a fair and justified price for a long time based on the latest recommendation of the Tariff Commission
(TC) Report of June 2009 and this would to a very small extent offset a portion of that loss.
The Union government has scrapped the TC Report because of identified discrepancies and anomalies and is making a fresh study. The industry claims that in the past eight years, it has lost Rs 1200 crore as it has been denied a fair and justified price on jute bags from 2001. The last TC Report was of 2001 and expired in 2003. The mill owners are mulling to move court soon against the Centre's
decision to scrap the TC report.
It may be noted that 35-40 per cent of the total jute bags produced in the country is purchased by the government through different state procurement agencies and Food Corporation of
India (FCI) for food grain and sugar packaging in every agriculture season as per the Jute Packaging Materials Act
(JPMA) of 1987.
Source: Business Standard
CBEC turns down textiles ministry move to pack sugar in jute bags
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar, December 08, 2010, In a setback to the jute industry, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has turned down a proposal made by the Union Ministry of Textiles (MOT) to restrict about 450 odd sugar mills across the country from packing sugar in plastic bags replacing jute bags during the current Rabi season. This is despite the recent decision of the Cabinet Committee
on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which had ruled out any dilution in the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) of 1987 that makes it mandatory for packing of 100 per cent of food grains and sugar produced in India in jute bags.
In a recent correspondence to Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary (Jute), MOT, the Excise Commissioner, Ajay Jain said that there are no provisions kept in the Central Excise Act of 1944 to enforce such powers by excise officers on sugar mills. On the contrary, the sugar mills always arrange for packing their produce under a self removal procedure where the units themselves clear the goods without the presence of any excise officer.
The Excise Act has a provision to monitor the movement and packing of goods other than only collecting levy and duty from the sugar millers. Industry sources said there are a few sugar mills even run by jute mill owners of West Bengal outside the state. They make more profits from sugar than jute mills. They have also been found guilty of flouting the JPMA provisions but are yet to be booked.
The Textile Ministry had approached the CBEC and Food Ministry to stop the sugar mills from packing their produce in synthetic and plastic bags after it received complaints from the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the jute owners body.
MOT said that sugar is an excisable commodity and therefore it is quite normal that the Excise Department had the full authority of not issuing gate passes if sugar is not packed in jute bags before being despatched from the sugar mills.
Allowing sugar to be packed in non jute bags, mostly synthetic bags, are a sure violation of the JPMA and the CCEA decision. The Food Ministry however said that the issue was solely under
the domain of the Jute Commissioner (JC), considered to be the custodian of jute industry.
Sources revealed that the Jute Commissioner (JC) has pleaded helplessness in such a matter, citing reasons of a lack of infrastructure. This time also after IJMA's complaints, the JC has started a nominal action asking for
specification and markings on A Twill bags which are meant for packing sugar. Every year, the jute industry
supplies around 0.3 million tonnes of jute bags to sugar mills valued at around Rs 1500
crore. The 66 odd operational jute mills (52 in West Bengal) produce around 1.6 million tonnes of jute goods having a business
turnover of Rs 8000 crore. Source: Business Standard
Sugar mills likely to be hit by ILO's bar on manual load
November 30, 2010: A International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention which has prohibited manual
transportation of heavy load (100 kg or more) could hamper smooth loading and
transportation of sugar for hundreds of mills in India. The prohibition which came into force recently has compelled sugar mills to go
for packaging in less than 100 kg bags in 2010-11 in the process losing out on a
crucial relaxation granted to them under the Jute Package Material (Compulsory
Use of Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 as majority of them do not have mechanised
load lifting facility. The jute order which mandates 100% compulsory packaging of foodgrain and sugar
jute bags for supply of distribution is not applicable for bags and packages weighing 100 kg or more.
Till now, most sugar mills in India were packing their produce for supply in 100
kg bags, which not only made transportation easy, but also allowed them the
luxury of using any alternative packaging material, other than jute.
Sources said after the new ILO convention, most mills will compulsorily pack
their produce in smaller bags, where in use of jute is mandatory. Interestingly, the standing advisory committee (SAC) constituted by the
government had since the last four years recommended that only 80% of the sugar
be packed in jute bags, while the rest could be packed in alternative material.
However, these recommendations have been turned down by the government requiring 100% packing in jute bags.
Millers said that with country's sugar production expected to rise to around 25
million tonnes in 2010-2011 crop marketing season from around 19 million tonnes
in 2009-10 and 14.7 million tonne in 2008-09, the jute industry has to double
its efforts to supply bags. The sugar millers also face competition from foodgrain for jute bags as the
textiles ministry order mandates that 100% packing of foodgrains have to be in
jute bags. Millers said with foodgrains production rising sharply in the last few years,
availability of jute bags has become scarce and most of the demand is met
through imports from Bangladesh. Source: MSN India
Seven jute mills in the dock for supply of sub-standard jute bags
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar November 19, 2010: The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) under the Union
ministry of food and agriculture has accused seven jute mills in West Bengal of supplying sub-standard jute bags in the current Kharif season
to the Punjab government. Most of these mills are members of Indian Jute Mills Association
(IJMA), the apex body of the jute industry in the country.
According to a DGS&D source, the accused mills are -Victoria, Ganges,
Tirupati, Howrah, Reliance, Bally and Kelvin jute mills. After conducting preliminary inspection, the DGS&D found that these
mills had supplied sub-standard gunny bales with dimensional defects and poor weaving. The samples are currently lying at the Vigilance Office of
Ludhiana (Punjab). An inquiry has been ordered and a joint inspection team will soon review the situation.
However, Manish Poddar, chairman of IJMA denied the allegations. - IJMA has not received any such complaint and none of our association members
are supplying sub-standard jute bags?, he said. It is not for the first time that jute mills have been accused of
supplying inferior quality materials. Earlier also the Government of India had carried out investigation into such type of developments and
had warned the jute industry.
A few months back, the Union textiles ministry had identified 33 rogue
mills that defaulted on their supply commitment of over 41000 bales of gunny to Punjab and sold their materials at higher prices in the market.
During the current Kharif season, the food ministry had indented around
1.4 million bales of gunnybags for different state procuring agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI). Of them Punjab was the highest
This year due to bad harvest and shortfall in crop production, there has
been a shortage in supply. IJMA, however, is pushing matters with its 41
members for keeping Kharif supply commitments by December 2010. West Bengal has 52 operating jute mills and a work force of around four
lakh consisting of pay roll, tertiary and subsidiary sectors. Eight mills are closed of which five are in the public sector. The jute
industry?s current annual production is around 1.6 million tonnes with a
turnover of around Rs 8000 crore. The government purchase is almost 40per cent in every agriculture season for food grains and sugar packing.
Source: Business Standard Nov 19, 2010
World's Largest Jute Bags Promoted in India
Kolkata, November 1, 2010: In a bid to raise awareness about the use of natural fibers instead of
plastic and synthetics, jute manufacturers in India have created the world’s largest jute bags.
The organizers in India's eastern West Bengal state are hoping to persuade consumers to switch to using natural fibers to help save the
environment. Jute, a golden natural fiber, is seen as a viable alternative to artificial fibers and fabrics.
Two shopping malls in Kolkata city have been displaying the huge jute
bags to catch the eyes of visitors. Jute cases, folders, calendars, and water bottles are becoming popular
with customers. Tarun Mullick, the Managing Director of the company putting up the bags,
said consumers were regularly handed plastic bags in shopping malls, and
the display tried to create awareness about eco-friendly jute. Both the Limca Book of Records and the
Guinness Book of Records have shown interest in featuring these huge jute bags in their next editions.
Gloster Jute Mills Changes Name as Gloster Limited
Kolkata, October 29, 2010: Gloster Jute Mills Ltd has announced a fresh Certificate of
Incorporation dated October 20, 2010 consequent upon change of name from
"Gloster Jute Mills Limited" to "GLOSTER LIMITED" issued by Registrar of
Companies, West Bengal, Govt. of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
The stock was trading at Rs.600, down by Rs.5.05 or 0.83%. The stock hit
an intraday high of Rs.615 and low of Rs.600. The total traded quantity was 403 compared to 2 week average of 1241.
Source: Equity Bulls
CCEA reverses Textile Ministry's dilution proposal for jute bags
New Delhi, October 4, 2010: In a big boost for the jute industry, the Cabinet Committee on Economic
Affairs (CEA) has reversed the Union textile ministryâ??s proposal for
25 per cent dilution in mandatory use of jute bags for packaging of food grains and sugar.
This is for the second consecutive year that the CCEA has turned down the proposal for dilution of the Jute Packaging Materials Act
(JPMA), much to the cheer of the ailing jute industry.
According to JPMA of 1987, it is mandatory for the government procurement agencies to go for packaging of food grains and sugar in
jute bags compulsorily to an extent of 100 pr cent. It is believed that the two Union ministers hailing from West
Bengal-Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee played a pivotal role in reversing the dilution proposal.
The political repercussions of the move is also significant as West
Bengal goes for the assembly polls in 2011 and the jute industry being a
labour intensive industry engages around four lakh workers directly while creating indirect employment for nearly 40 lakh farmers.
In a span of 22 years since the jute sector was protected by the JPMA from 1987, this is for the third time that the Textile Ministry's
decision has been reversed, the other two being in 2000 and 2009. This
is also the fifth instance of dereservation. The textiles ministry had
advanced arguments that production would be lower than consumption and
also debunked capacity claims made by the jute industry's representative body Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA).
According to the ministry, the jute sector is a habitual defaulter on
supplies and therefore options should be kept open to use polypropylene
and high-density polyethylene sacks for packing food grains and sugar by
relaxing JPMA norms to the extent of 25 per cent in 2010 - 11. Source: Business Standard
Jute sculptures made of jute in Commonwealth Games
NEW DELHI, October 1, 2010: Tourists visiting the capital during the Commonwealth Games
will get to savour the choicest Indian delicacies in the backdrop of unique sculptures made of jute and bamboo in
Connaught Place In an effort to showcase the 'Green' Games, Delhi Tourism is setting up a jute presentation depicting the passage of a royal family through
Delhi streets right across Shivaji Stadium Metro station at Baba Kharak Singh
Marg. The concept — about life in Shahjahanabad — required over 70 artisans from four states to build sculptures ranging from horses, camels,
elephants and soldiers to even a queen in a palki.
Delhi chief minister urges to use jute, cloth bags
New Delhi, September 18, 2010: Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has urged Delhiites to stop using
plastic bags and go for bags made with cloth and jute. Sheila Dikshit launched ‘Sheel Shera’ project — an imitative of ‘No to Plastic Bags’
organised by an NGO, Sahyog, on Saturday stressing upon the need of use of environment-friendly bags.
“People should make their own bags with used clothes and give them a beautiful look,” she said. She said Delhi government has made strict
provisions, including fine and imprisonment, for using plastic bags. The Shera displayed at the function was made of 2.5 lakh polybags
collected by ragpickers and school children.
CCEA opposes textile ministry's dilution proposal for jute bags
Delhi, September 15, 2010: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CEA) has reversed the Union
textile ministry?s proposal for 25 per cent dilution in mandatory use of
jute bags for packaging of foodgrain and sugar.This is for the second year in a row that CCEA has turned down the
proposal for dilution of the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), much to the cheer of the ailing jute industry.
According to JPMA of 1987, it is mandatory for the government procurement agencies to pack foodgrain and sugar in jute bags.
It is believed that the two Union ministers hailing from West Bengal Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee
played a vital role in reversing the dilution proposal.
The political repercussions of the move are also significant, as West
Bengal goes for assembly polls in 2011. The jute industry is labour-intensive and engages around 400,000 workers directly, while
creating indirect employment for nearly four million farmers. In a span of 22 years since the jute sector was protected by the JPMA
from 1987, this is for the third time that the Textile Ministry's decision has been reversed. The proposal was turned down earlier in 2000 and 2009.
This is also the fifth instance of dereservation. The textiles ministry
had argued that production would be lower than consumption and also debunked capacity claims made by the jute industry representative body
Indian Jute Mills Association.
According to the ministry, the jute sector is a habitual defaulter on
supplies and therefore options should be kept open to use polypropylene and high-density polyethylene sacks for packing foodgrain and sugar by
relaxing JPMA norms to the extent of 25 per cent in 2010-11. The earlier routine annual term of JPMA expired on July 30, but no
extension was given as the matter was being debated by the Jute Commissioner's Office under the ministry. Source: Business Standard
Biodegradable carry bags made of jute and paper launched
JAIPUR, September 10, 2010: As a perfect corollary to the plastic bags ban in the city, the
Sulabh International, a social service organisation launched a campaign on
Thursday to make biodegradable carry bags made of jute and paper. Mayor Jyoti Khandelwal inaugurated the launch in a function organised at Paanch
Batti. The initiative is widely seen as generating employment besides protecting environment as the mayor assured all co-operative efforts to
make the attempt a success. While addressing the media Khandelwal said the civic body would be
stringent in dealing with all those who violate the provisions of plastic bans in the city.
"We need to change our behaviour in the context of using poly bags as it
has been a part of daily habits. Thus if we make alternative bags like
these jute bags at affordable prices, people would change their habits,"
said Khandelwal. This unique project of promoting handmade bags (bio-degradable) seems to
have a socio- economic dimension. Suman Chahar, chairperson of Sulabh
Academy of Environment Sanitation and Public Health New Delhi told TOI that at least 2,000 liberated women scavengers have been working day and
night to produce the fancy jute bags. Source: The Times of India
Workers supporting strike clash in West Bengal with workers reporting
Howrah, September 7, 2010 (PTI): Workers of the Ladlow Jute Mill at Chengail in Howrah district
supporting the industrial strike called by the Central Trade unions clashed with the workers who reported for duty today, police sources said.
Workers supporting the strike tried to prevent workers from joining for
duty and a clash ensued between them at the gate of the jute mill, sources said adding police went to the spot and dispersed the clashing workers.
The jute mill is open and around 35% of the workers have reported for duty, mill sources said.
The workers, who reported for duty alleged that workers supporting the
industrial strike hurled bombs to scare them and prevent them from joining duty.
Jute bag training for women underway
Kohima, September 1, 2010: As part of state government’s programme ‘Year of Entrepreneur’, a
one-week jute bag training programme started Tuesday organised by Nagaland Co-operative Union of India- Cooperative Education Field
Project (NCUI-CEFP) Kohima. Highlighting on programme, chief guest M. Imtila Jamir, Registrar of
Co-operative Societies, Nagaland said as the government declared 2010 as
Year of Entrepreneur, she urged participant and also entrepreneurs to avail best opportunity given by the State.
Dwelling on women empowerment, she said today women had become an
integral part in generating economic self reliance, and for which such type of training had been organised for the well-being of the women.
She also urged participants to have interest in learning new things and
also to be trained properly and make best use of the possible trainings
organised by the cooperative. Nagaland Co-operative Union of India- Cooperative Education Field Project had played a vital role in the field
of cooperative society.
The weeklong training programme is an encouragement for all trainers in
imparting new way of living where 15 members of different Self Help Groups from Kohima and Jakhama block under Nagaland Co-operative Union
of India- Cooperative Education Field Project are participating in the
training programme Resource persons for the training programme are Anitoli Sema and Methasiile
Kintso. The week long programme is been sponsored by department of cooperation. Source: Nagaland Post
Textiles ministry scraps Tariff Commission's report on B Twill
Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar August 25, 2010: The jute industry's long-standing demand for a revision in prices of BTwill jute bags has got a jolt with the Union textiles ministry
scrapping the Tariff Commission's report of June 2009 on the fair price
of jute bags. The ministry has now decided to go for a fresh study and has already
prepared the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the same.
Sources said the textiles ministry turned down the Tariff Commission's
report as it was stated to have manipulated on issues like batch cost and jute loss. Moreover, it was also not in conformity with the
productivity norms of the erstwhile Jute Manufacturers' Development Council
(JMDC), which is now now known as the National Jute Board (NJB). The jute industry is grappling with an under recovery of around Rs
1200crore since 2001 on the price for B-Twill jute bags. If implemented,
the Tariff Commission's report would have got back around Rs 400crore to
this ailing sector between April 2009 and July 2010. The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), the organized platform of jute
owners, representing the industry, has objected to the scrapping of the report.
Currently, the price of jute bags procured by government procurement
agencies is around Rs 52,000 per tonne and is well above the market price. Though the jute industry had been thriving on the old Tariff
Commission's formula of 2001, the price they got from sale of jute bags
was always higher than market price barring few exceptions. The West Bengal government and the trade unions had also requested the
textiles ministry to implement the report.
In the current financial year, the textiles ministry has once again recommended a 25 per cent dilution for jute bags in favor of
polypropylene bags manufacturers stating that they are better suppliers
and cost effective. It may be noted that the jute industry has completely lost ground to the
plastic bags industry on the commercial aspect as it is totally out priced.
While the price of a jute bag is around Rs 42, a plastic bag costs Rs 12. The textile ministry is understood to be in favour of phasing out of
the Jute Packaging Mandatory Act (JPMA) 1987 and make the jute industry
self reliant. Under JPMA, it is mandatory for the government procurement agencies to
go for 100 per cent packaging of food grains and sugar in jute bags. Source: Business Standard
Govt rolls out Rs 1K-cr sops for exporters
NEW DELHI, August 24, 2010: The government handed out a Rs 1,000-crore ($214 mn) package
of fresh incentives to exporters still struggling in an uncertain global
market, and said it would review the situation in a few months. “We are
not out of the woods yet,” said commerce and industry minister Anand
Sharma, while announcing the annual trade policy review on Monday.
The incentives announced are targeted at labour-intensive export sectors such as leather, carpets, handicrafts, engineering goods,
jute and ready-made garments, which face an uncertain six months due to
troubles in their largest markets such as the US and Europe.
The 2% interest subsidy has been extended to textiles, leather and jute
industries for the entire 2010-11. “The policy positively affects all
sectors as it not only supports labour-intensive sectors, but also ensures continuity of old schemes,” Fieo chief A Sakthivel said.
Source: The Economic Times
Jute farmers cut PHE water pipes to save their crop
BEHRAMPORE, August 18, 2010: Struggling to save their crop and avoid financial ruin, jute
farmers at Hariharpara in Murshidabad have cut the public health engineering department's pipes,
denying drinking water to at least 10,000 people living in 12 villages.
The area falls in an arsenic zone and the PHE supply is the only source
of uncontaminated water. The farmers of Bhajarampur, Khidirpur and Jamalpur know the health
hazard they might have triggered by their action, but are unrepentant.
"What's to be done? Almost all the canals and ditches are dry for the past two months because of scanty rainfall. How will we prepare our crop?
The irony is that most villagers do not know that the government has
declared Murshidabad drought-prone and announced compensation packages
for farmers. Nitai said, "We've heard that the state government has declared compensation to the tune of `2,000-`6,000 for each hectare.
But that's not sufficient as we have spent `8,000- `10,000 per bigha for
jute. The government has to increase the compensation amount. In fact,
paddy farmers will face the same problem in the coming months." So far nothing has been done to repair the water pipeline. A PHE
engineer said that no fresh money had been sanctioned and the supply would not be restored till that happened.
Source: The Times of India
Wage board for Bengal jute workers
KOLKATA, August 05, 2010: The West Bengal Government has set up a wage board for jute
industry workers in accordance with the tripartite agreement signed between the mill owners, trade unions and the State Government.
The wage board will be headed by the former judge, Mr Pradipta Roy, with
representation from the mills and trade unions. The board will look into jute mill workers' grades, pay scales and other
such related matters, the State Labour Minister, Mr Anadi Sahu, had said earlier.
"The formation of a wage board for not only resolving issues pertaining
the salary of workers but also the overall functioning of the jute industry was mentioned in the tripartite agreement. The constitution of
the board is, therefore, just an implementation of the terms of the agreement," said Mr Gobindo Guha, General Secretary, Be-ngal Chatkal
Players of East Bengal Football Club will sport jute blazers and jerseys
July 26, 2010:: The Golden Boot or Golden Ball may still be a far cry in Indian
football. But Golden Jerseys are just round the corner.In a unique bid to revive the golden fibre's lost lustre, junior players
of East Bengal Football Club will sport jute blazers and wear jerseys that have a blend of cotton and jute.
On Wednesday, Jute Manufacturers Development Council (JDMC), a textile
ministry agency engaged in promotion of the fibre, tied up with title sponsors of the under-15 team at East Bengal Football Club to popularise jute apparel.
The promotional initiative is aimed at repositioning the golden fibre that is grown in the state and engages lakhs of workers in the
labour-intensive jute processing factories. Traditionally used as gunny
sacks and bags, the fibre lost its appeal since the introduction of nylon and polythene bags a decade ago. With the industry's fate now
hanging in balance, efforts are on to showcase the bio-degradable and eco-friendly aspects of jute in a world that is
increasingly becoming sensitive to waste and pollution. But with jute still carrying the perception baggage of coarse packaging
material, JDMC has been forced to explore innovative ideas to change people's mindset about the fibre. In February, it tied up with designer
Agnimitra Paul and popular Bangla band Chandrabindoo to showcase a
three-way jugalbandi with the spotlight firmly on couture creations from jute.
The latest bid is to piggyride the popularity of football to encourage
the use of jute. JDMC and Bluechip Projects, a real estate firm that is
the title sponsor of East Bengal FC under-15 team, have joined hands to
create jute jackets for the players and is exploring the possibility of
blending the fibre with cotton in playing jerseys. Talks are on with
National Institute of Fashion Technology to design the apparel. JDMC secretary Atri Bhattacharya made it clear that the idea behind
blending jute with football was to change the fibre's image and not to
promote it as a sportswear material. "We will be playing to the gallery
and showcasing how jute is versatile and trendy in addition to being eco-friendly and bio-degradable," he explained.
JDMC is already negotiating with various real estate companies and
government agencies, including the ministry of rural development and Railways, for use of jute geo-textiles in construction activity.It's during one such interaction with Bluechip Projects CEO & MD Ritwik
Das that the idea of using jute in footballers' jerseys and blazers evolved. "We had adopted the under-15 side as part of corporate social
responsibility (CSR) initiative. By now bringing jute on board, we are
marrying one CSR activity with another," Das said. He hopes the apparel will be ready by August-end for the players to
sport during matches thereafter. The golden fibre couldn't have found a
better match given that East Bengal's jersey colour is red & gold.
Souece: The Times of India
Ministry for lifting mandatory use of jute in packaging
Mumbai July 20, 2010: Recommends repealing of Jute Packaging Materials Act, 1987.The chemicals and
fertilisers ministry has recommended repealing of the Jute Packaging Materials Act, 1987, to increase the use of plastic packaging.
The ministry has made its recommendations on the basis of a technical
study conducted by the Indian Centre for Plastics in the Environment (ICPE).
The Jute Packaging Materials Act, which makes it mandatory for anyone transporting
fertiliser, sugar and foodgrain to use jute bags for packaging, was enacted in 1987. Over 23 years, the rule has been amended
and as it stands now, jute bags are to be compulsorily used for sugar and foodgrain packaging.
The ministry is of the view that in a free market economy, marketers should have the freedom to use packaging material and no material should
be thrust upon them by a compulsory Act.
The study conducted by ICPE on the life cycle analysis of jute, paper
and polymers, has indicated that energy, chemicals and water consumed for production of these raw materials is highest for paper, followed by
jute, and then polymers. Similarly, for the preparation of sacks out of
these materials, consumption of energy, water and chemicals follow a similar pattern. In the process of preparation of sacks, pollutant
emissions stand highest for jute, then paper and least for polymers.
Polymer/plastic sacks stand a better resistance compared to its peers
jute and paper along the parameters of seepage, moisture resistance,
aesthetics, performance in humid conditions, availability and cost. In
fact, plastics are available at one fifth the cost of jute.
Allaying the fear that polymers are environmental hazard, based on the
facts of the study, the ministry is of the view that polymer-woven sacks
are fully reusable and recyclable. The extent of waste discarded as solid waste in the system is as low as three per cent of the total
usage. Therefore, the ministry believes the government should not impose
any kind of fiscal/non-fiscal burden on the polymer industry, since its
every step, ranging from manufacture to use, is environment-friendly.
Polypropylene and polyethylene granules used as raw material for
polymers are used to manufacture various items used in human consumption
and are most sensitive to human health.
The study further noted the amount of waste generated in packaging
material required per million of bulk commodities would be much higher
in case of jute/paper-woven bags. The high use of chemicals in jute and
paper has a detrimental effect on the nature?s water systems and health
of the workers. The hydrocarbon based jute batching oil (JBO) used for
processing jute is a major health hazard, the study adds.
Source: Business Standard
Jute fair inaugurated in Meghalaya
Shillong, June 30, 2010: A five day Jute Fair on 30th June 2010 in Shillong was inauguratedb by Director of
Commerce and Industries, Government of Meghalaya, Mr. D. K. Areng. The Jute fair is being organised by
the National Jute Board (NJB)of India under the aegis of the Ministry of
Textiles, Government of India with an aim to promote Indian Jute. The Fair comprises of display cum sale of lifestyle jute products by 26
entrepreneurs from different parts of the country showcasing their environment-friendly jute consumer products like handicrafts, dolls,
fancy jute bags and many more. Other dignitaries present at the inaugural function are Mr.
A.K.Ghosh, Consultant, NJB, Mr. T. K. Saha, Market Promotion Officer, NJB and many
West Bengal farmers expect good jute production this year
Jalpaiguri (West Bengal)), June 27, 2010 (ANI): Jute farmers in West Bengal's
Jalpaiguri District are expecting a good production this year as the area has received good rainfall.
"This time, we have good rain and hopefully we get good yield. Lets see
what happens in the market. Our livelihood depends on this," said Hadel
Rai, a jute farmer.
The farmers added that though, there was a good amount of rainfall but
insects and pest destroyed some crops at the beginning of the season.
Meanwhile, Subir Sarkar, a weather expert in West Bengal said jute fields need an equal amount of rainfall and sun exposure for jute
"Definitely, this last two days rain is really very good for them
because they need now plenty of water and at the same time, plenty of sun. So, what is happening here, for four to five to six hours,
continuous rains, then, sky becoming clearer, so sun comes," said
Sarkar. "So, for jute production, it's a real congenial atmosphere, congenial
environment. So, for jute farmers, they should be very happy," he added.
He further said that continuous rains in the four districts of Darjeeling,
Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Uttar Dinajpur would prove beneficial to farmers.
Sarkar said that in two days, average rainfall in the area has been 200 mm.
The farmers are also expecting some relief and benefit from the government as
National Jute Board of India commences its operation
Delhi, June 21, 2010: The National Jute Board, a Statutory Body set up by the National Jute Board Act, 2008 Act No.12 of 2009 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India has commenced operation with effect from the 1 April 2010. The Board has been constituted by merging the two organizations, Jute Manufactures Development Council (JMDC) - a Statutory Body set up by Jute Manufactures Development Council Act 1983 and the National Centre for Jute Diversification (NCJD) - a Society set up by the Central Government and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. These two organizations have legally ceased to be existent with effect from the 1 April 2010. All future communications meant for JMDC and NCJD may now be addressed to:
NATIONAL JUTE BOARD. Ministry of Textiles, Government of India
3 A&B, Park Plaza, 71, Park Street, Kolkata — 700 016.
Fax: 033-2217 2456 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raw jute prices fixed for 2010-11
Kolkata , June 9, 2010 (IBNS): Minimum support prices for all grades of jute and mesta for various up country markets in different
jute/mesta growing states have been fixed by the Jute Commissioner, said a government statement on Wednesday.
In West Bengal, the minimum support prices of jute fixed for the 2010-2011 season would range from Rs 1550 to Rs 1588 per quintal in case of W-5 grade and Rs 1600 to Rs 1638 per quintal in case of TD-5 grade.
It may be mentioned that the Government of India has decided to fix the minimum support prices for TD-5 grade of raw jute for Assam at Rs 1575 per quintal for the 2010-2011 season ( July-June). Similarly, minimum support prices for all grades of mesta for
various upcountry markets in different mesta growing states including West Bengal have been fixed by the jute commissioner for
the 2010-2011 season. In West Bengal the minimum support prices for M-4 grade would be between Rs 1510 and Rs 1548 per quintal. The JCI would continue to act as the Central nodal agency to undertake the price support operation for raw jute during the 2010-2011 seasons.
Gloster Jute Mills Board recommends Dividend of 60% for 2009-10
Kolkata, May 27, 2010: Gloster Jute Mills Ltd has announced that the Board of Directors of the
Company at its meeting held on May 26, 2010, has recommended dividend @
60% for the year 2009-10, subject to the approval of the Shareholders of
the Company. The stock closed the day at Rs.252, up by Rs.11.95 or 4.98%. The stock
hit an intraday high of Rs.252 and low of Rs.240. The total traded quantity was 709 compared to 2 week average of 194.
Source: Equity Bulls
Raw Jute production
likely to increase this year
Kolkata May 23, 2010: There could be a 25 per cent increase in raw jute production this
fiscal due to higher prices in 2009-10, according to experts. Raw jute
production in 2010-11 could be about 110 lakh bales against 90 lakh bales last year.
The ex-Kolkata TD-4 variety of raw jute prices are ruling at about Rs 3,300 a quintal and this seems to have encouraged farmers to increase
its cultivation this year. The jute sowing season typically ranges between March and April while the harvesting begins in June-July. The
jute industry has an opening stock of about 12 lakh bales this year and
production is estimated to be 110 lakh bales. Close to three lakh bales
of raw jute might be imported. The mill consumption would range at about
95 lakh bales, while the domestic consumption would be roughly nine lakh
Bangladesh lifts ban on Indian yarn
DHAKA, May 16, 2010 (PTI): In a bid to help bring down the price of the textile raw material,
Bangladesh has removed a ban on import of Indian yarn. The National Board of Revenue issued a notification late yesterday withdrawing
the ban on import of Indian yarn through Benapole land port, said officials,
adding four counts of yarn could be imported through the port. "Yarn import has been opened for all through the land port," Textile and Jute
Minister Abdul Latif Siddique said.
Earlier, the bonded warehouses alone were allowed to import yarn.
The decision to lift the ban was taken despite objections from the country's spinning mill owners, who were opposing the import of Indian yarn fearing that
they would fail to sell their products in the local market. Workers of over 1.3 million handloom and power loom units across Bangladesh, who
were on an indefinite strike demanding duty-free import of Indian yran though the land port, today returned to work.
According Bangladesh Handloom and Power-loom Owners' Association, about 0.6
million looms forced closure and the remaining 1.4 million looms failed to use
their production capacity due to the high price of yarn. At present, at least 200 spinning mills in the country supply yarn to the local
weavers and employ nearly 200,000 people directly and one million indirectly.
Industry grows 10.4% in '09-10 while negative growth in jute
NEW DELHI, May 13, 2010: The rate of expansion in industrial production slowed down to 13.5%
in March from 15.1% in February as a partial withdrawal of stimulus measures and
a rate hike took their toll but enough to ensure over 7% GDP growth rate for 2009-10.
This is the sixth consecutive month when the industrial output has posted a
double-digit growth. For the full fiscal, industrial output grew at 10.4%
against 2.8% in the previous fiscal when the global slowdown hit the economy.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the growth in March industrial output may
have declined marginally but it was still good enough to ensure a 7.2% economic
growth during 2009-10. For Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh
Ahluwalia too the marginal dip in March industrial growth figures will not impact th GDP estimates.
Manufacturing, which makes up nearly 80% of the index for industrial production,
grew by 14.3% in March. Mining recorded an increase of 11% and electricity
generation 7.7%. Fourteen out of the 17 industrial groups showed positive growth
in March. The sectors that witnessed negative growth were jute, textile products
and wool, silk and man-made fibre textile.
National Jute Board constituted
KOLKATA, April 30, 2010: National Jute Board, a statutory body set up by
subsuming Jute Manufacturers Development Council (JMDC) and National Centre for
Jute Diversification (NCJD) has been newly formed under the administrative
control of Ministry of Textiles with effect from April 1.
According to a release, Atri Bhattacharya, IAS, will continue to be the
Secretary of the Board. The regional offices of JMDC at Chennai, Hyderabad and
Delhi will continue to function as the regional offices of National Jute Board.
The regional office at Chennai, with the jurisdiction of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Kerala and Puducherry, will continue to function at 34, Cathedral Garden Road,
Nungambakkam, Chennai. The domestic and export market promotional activities of
JMDC and Entrepreneur Development and training related activities of NCJD will
be jointly performed by the new National Jute Board.
Jute MSP raised by over 14% to Rs 1,575/quintal
NEW DELHI, April 23, 2010: The Centre has increased the minimum support price of jute by over 14 per cent to Rs 1,575 per quintal for 2010-11.The decision to hike the minimum support price (MSP) for the TD-5 grade (ex-Assam) variety of jute was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
(CCEA) meeting on Friday. “The increase in MSP of raw jute is expected to encourage the farmers to step up investment in jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity of jute in the country,” the official statement said. Jute MSP was at Rs 1,375 per quintal last year.
The Government also said that the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) would continue to act as the nodal agency to buy jute at the MSP level. Production is estimated at 96.98 lakh bales during 2009-10 season compared with 96.34 lakh bales in a year-ago period. One bale is 180 kg. Major jute producing states in the country are West Bengal, Bihar, Assam,
Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura. — PTI
Labourers vandalise jute mill, torch godown
Howrah (WB), March 31, 2010 (PTI) Labourers today torched staff quarters, trade union
offices and godowns after authorities of Delta Jute Mill at Manikpur in Howrah
district announced suspension of work, police said here. A notice in this regard was pasted on the mill's gate.
When workers saw it in the morning they got agitated and forcefully entered the
mill premises. They set afire jute godowns, vandalised several residential quarters and four
trade union offices of various party affiliation, officials said. An ambulance was toppled and a motorbike was also torched by the
labourers.It took three fire tenders to douse the flames. The situation was brought under control by the police and RAF contingent, they
The labourers and the mill management were engaged in a tussle over some payment
issue for quite sometime, they said.
Kolkata-based jute PSU to get Rs 1,200-crore revival package
Kolkata, March 19, 2010: A revival package of Rs 1,200 crore for restoring the Kolkata-based National
Jute Manufacturers Corporation will come up at the Cabinet committee of economic
affairs meeting on Friday. The board for reconstruction of public sector
enterprises approved the Rs 1,200 crore revival plan and another Rs 6,000 crore
has been approved towards waiver of loan and interest for capital restructuring.
The company has been non-operative since 2001. According to sources, the revival plan of the company has been on the Cabinet’s
agenda for over a year. The jute company operates six plants, five of which are
in West Bengal and one in Bihar.
Dayanidhi Maran inaugurates Jute Festival
New Delhi, March 11, 2010 (PIB) With a view to increase awareness of Jute products among consumers
Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran, Union Textiles Minister inaugurated a Jute Festival at the Dilli
Haat, here today. The Festival is being organized by Jute Manufactures Development Council (JMDC). On the occasion,
Tmt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Textiles and Tmt. Rita Menon , Secretary, Textiles were also present.
During the four day Festival, 20 Jute units from across India will exhibit their products. To improve the public
perception of jute and change its branding among customers, a fashion show of jute apparel and accessories “Earth Couture” was organised and the renowned vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan also performed “Songs for the Earth”. The show and the festival brought home to the audience of Delhi the truth behind the message “Surprisingly Jute”.
The Ministry of Textiles under the leadership of Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran has launched a new initiative to revive
the jute industry. The Jute Technology Mission addresses issues of agricultural improvements, research & development of new products, modernisation of mills,
introduction of new technology and skill upgradation. At the same time, the Ministry has empowered the Jute
Manufactures Development Council to promote diversified jute products that reduce the industry’s dependence on sacking and hessian. This initiative includes not only promotion of new technical applications such as jute geo-textiles and
composites but also aggressive marketing of jute lifestyle products both within the country and in
international markets. It is encouraging that value-added JDP account for nearly 30% of India’s
jute exports (total about Rs. 1100 crore) even though they form less than 8% of jute goods production in India. In the domestic market, the banning of non-biodegradable packaging in many areas has driven the demand for eco-friendly jute.
Fire in 150-year-old jute mill
Barrackpore (WB), March 8, 2010 (PTI): Fire broke out at a 150-year-old jute mill in the
northern fringes of Kolkata today, reducing to ashes 700 tonnes of finished goods.
The fire broke out at Baranagar jute mill at around 5.30 pm. However, no one was
injured in the incident as workers were safely evacuated, fire department officials said.
About 13 fire engines brought the blaze under control after about
two-and- a-half- hour. The fire though under control was still on and people living in the vicinity
have been moved out temporarily, they said. Meanwhile, the mill management claimed that the loss was estimated to be of
about Rs 2 crore and sparks from running machines could be the reason behind the blaze.
Jute geo-textiles for railway track: Mamata
Kolkata, Feburary 24, 2010 (IANS): Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said her
department would explore the possibility of using jute geo-textiles in railway
tracks - a decision welcomed by the jute industry. “Railways will explore the possibility of using jute geo-textiles wherever the
soil formation of the railway track is unstable and weak,” she said in her budget speech.
“It’s a nice decision. It gives validation to our efforts with jute geo-textiles
in the last few years,” Atri Bhattacharya, Jute Manufactures Development Council
(JMDC) secretary, told IANS. In road construction, jute geo-textiles give more durability to roads.
Geo-textile is eco-friendly, bio-degradable material that is used for soil
conservation and soil management. For roads, jute is used as a sub-grade between
the foundation and the upper layer. “We have already used geo-textiles for two stretches of railway track between
Madhusudhanpur and Sebaichandi section of the Howrah-Burdwan chord line, which
has helped reduce the subsidence level to a huge extent,” he said.Bhattacharya also mentioned that this approach would open up a huge opportunity
for the domestic market.
Jute festival kicks off in Chennai
Chennai February 17, 2010:The Jute Manufacturers Development Council (JMDC), a statutory
body under the textiles ministry, would promote diversified jute products, said Union textiles minister Dayanidhi
Maran. Inaugurating the four-day Jute Festival here , he said the ministry had earlier launched Jute
Technology Mission, an initiative to revive the industry. Under this, the ministry not only promotes new technical applications but also undertakes aggressive marketing of lifestyle products.
Maran also announced the opening of retail outlets for jute diversified products co-branded with JMDC. These outlets will
sell high-quality products for customers in Chennai.He said many units in the southern states had developed new variations, including super-softened jute composite fabrics and decorative items. Source: Business Standard
Trade unions call off jute strike
Kolkata, February 12, 2010: Bengal jute mill unions today called off their indefinite strike after 61 days following an agreement
that would ensure a monthly hike of Rs 1,164 in wages, including Rs 321 in dearness allowance, to about 2.5 lakh workers in 52 mills.
The tripartite agreement for three years was reached at the intervention of the state labour department after a series of
meetings at both the state and central levels. Labour minister Anadi Sahu said a wage board for the workers would be formed within three months. He said the mill owners had agreed to clear the dearness allowance arrears in six installments. The textile ministry, because of the strike, has already
diluted the mandatory jute packing order. Sanjay Kajaria, the chairman of the Indian Jute Mills Association,
said, “It would have been a disaster had the strike at the mills continued further. Immediate cost increase for the industry would be Rs 320 crore and could go up to Rs 1,003 crore by January 2014.”
Five of the 20 odd trade unions, including the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), refused to sign the agreement as the workers would not benefit much. AITUC leader Debasish Dutta
said the unions, however, would ask their members to join duty. It was agreed that the payment of gratuity arrears, estimated to be around Rs 300 crore, would be cleared in three years. Source: The Telegraph
Grant-in-Aid for Promoting Jute Geo-Textile in Road Construction
February 02, 2010 (PIB): The Ministry of Rural Development has released
Rs.27,76, 151/- (Rs. Twenty Seven Lakh Seventy Six Thousand and One Hundred Fifty One) only to Jute Manufactures Development Council as Consultancy Charges for the Pilot projects under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
(PMGSY) using Jute Geo-Textile for rural roads in the country.
This amount represents the 25% of 2.5% of the conventional cost of 09 (nine) road works constructed
under PMGSY using Jute Geo-Textile Technology. The Jute Manufactures Development Council (JMDC), a Statutory Body under the Ministry of Textile, Government of India is scheduled to execute the works under Pilot projects in accordance with MOU entered between JMDC and the National Rural Roads
Development Agency (NRRDA).
Jute mills will get a higher subsidy
New Delhi, January. 28, 2010: Jute mills engaged in modernisation will get a higher subsidy of up to Rs 3.5 crore against the previous limit of Rs 75 lakh, the cabinet decided today. “This is expected to provide the much needed incentive for the
jute industry to invest in modernisation on a significant scale,” the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) said in a statement. For new and existing mills in the Northeast, the cap has been enhanced to Rs 4
crore. Under the previous scheme of the Jute Technology Mission, the ceiling on subsidy was Rs 1 crore for mills in the Northeast and Rs 75 lakh in the rest of the country. The total outlay for the scheme is Rs 80 crore. Poor offtake under the previous scheme has prompted the CCEA to raise the ceiling.
“Based on a techno-financial viability study, it was worked out that the subsidy cap of Rs 3.5 crore would mean 100 per cent viability gap funding for mills having capacity of 70 tonnes per day or lower,” the textile ministry said. Mills with larger capacity will be able to carry out partial
modernisation; alternatively, they can get benefits under the technology upgradation fund scheme, which has no subsidy caps. Proposal from Bengal mill owners
As the jute strike in Bengal reached its 46th day, representatives of the mills in a meeting with the unions today proposed paying the revised wages and arrears in
instalments. However, the unions have not agreed to the proposal but consider it as a favourable sign as this is the first time the management has put forward a package. The unions, management and the state representatives will meet again on Friday at Writers’ Buildings. Source: The Telegraph
Buddha seeks Pranab’s intervention in jute sector strike
Kolkata, January 25, 2010: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has written to Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention in the indefinite strike in the jute sector since December 14, 2009.
In a letter dated January 21, Bhattacharjee wrote to Mukherjee seeking his
intervention to prevent further dilution in the packaging order and take steps to resolve the issue.
The Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ministry has sought a second
dilution from the Textile Ministry of 3.80 lakh bales of jute bags for the rabi
crop, apprehending shortage in the jute sector because of the strike. In December, the Textile Ministry had allowed the Food Ministry to procure 3.79
lakh bales of jute bags for food grain packaging. Indian Jute Manufactures Association (IJMA) chairman Sanjay Kajaria said if the
second round of dilution took place then reopening of the mills would be in the
doldrums. Source: Indian Express
Indo-Bangla on jute research
Kolkata, January 22, 2010: With an aim to tap the potential of jute fabrics in preventing soil erosion in
river banks and road edges, Bangladesh and India have launched a joint study
programme for research and development of jute geo-textiles. The recently-launched $3.6-million research project will aim at standardisation of
design, methodology and specifications for use of jute geo-textiles.
Jute suffers fresh jolt
Kolkata, January 16, 2010: The government has decided to use mostly plastic bags to pack rabi crops. Almost 80 per cent of the crop will be packed in plastic instead of jute bags till the end of February.
Under the Jute Packaging Materials Act 1987, foodgrain and sugar are supposed to be packed entirely in jute bags, but the ongoing strike at the jute mills from December 14 has affected supplies.
On Thursday, the Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, convened a meeting to review the supply position of jute gunny bags and place orders for plastic bags. According to Sanjay
Kajaria, chairman of the Indian Jute Mills Association, it was decided in the meeting to place an order for 3.79 lakh bales of plastic bags over and above the 3.8 lakh bales ordered on December 24. The
ministry had estimated the total requirement for packing rabi crop at 9.77 lakh bales of 50-kg gunny bags.Kajaria said he chose to “skip the meeting to avoid the humiliation of attending a meeting where officials would place orders for plastic bags because the jute industry failed to keep its supply commitment.’’
The jute industry had supplied 1.40 lakh bales before the strike began. After the 7.59 bales of plastic bags are procured, the jute sector will be left with an order of 78,000 bales only. Even if the strike is called off, the industry will have a meagre order book. Source: The Telegraph Kolkata
Strike costs jute industry Rs 1,200-crore
Kolkata, January 14, 2010: The jute industry has begun to count the losses since 20 trade unions
resorted to an indefinite strike since December 14, 2009, putting production,
domestic and international supplies on hold. With 48 of the 54 operating jute mills in West Bengal on strike—three are under
suspension and three are working ignoring the strike notice—the losses have
accrued to Rs 1,200 crore in 30 days of shutdown. According to Sanjay
Kajaria, chairman, Indian Jute Mills’ Association, the industry was losing Rs 40 crore
everyday, with production losses alone amounting to Rs 16.97 crore – the mills
produce 3.77 thousand mt of jute daily, pegged at Rs 45,000 per tonne.
The strike, third in three years, was called after tripartite wage talks
collapsed— the unions have been demanding implementation of a wage settlement
decided on in January 2002. What’s making matters worse for the industry is the recent recommendation made
by the textile ministry for a 20% dilution in jute packaging norms set by the
Union cabinet in September 2009, which had made it mandatory for the food grain and sugar sectors to use jute bags.
The IJMA has also sent the preliminary report of consultant Ernst & Young on the
jute industry to the Centre. As per the jute industry vision, by 2015 the
industry should grow to 23.5 lakh mt at an annual CAGR of 5%, but the E&Y report
says that in order to realise these ambitious numbers, “it is imperative for the
Indian jute industry to increase not only its raw jute production levels but
also its processing technology and capacity.” It has also suggested that since
production of jute goods is demand driven, existing markets need to be developed
and nursed. At the same time emphasis should be laid on developing new
generation jute products like technical textiles, shopping bags, jute carpets, matting etc.
The report also lays bare the challenges faced by the jute industry like lack of
availability of required quality and quantity of raw jute and an ineffective price stabilisation mechanism.
The problems start with the crop itself which has seen limited increase in
productivity due to lack of adequate quantity of certified seeds, low mechanized
farming, absence of seed buffer stocks. E&Y says scant efforts have been made to
grow jute seeds in West Bengal where more than 60% of the area under jute
cultivation exists. Source: Financial Express
Concern over the excessive import of jute
Kolkata, January. 11,2010: The Prime Minister’s Office has expressed
concern over the excessive import of jute and its finished products from Bangladesh last year. India allowed duty-free import of jute and jute products from January 1, 2008, after gradually reducing the customs duty
from as high as 16.5 per cent a decade ago. During April-November 2009, the volume of imported raw jute
jumped 120 per cent over the same period last year, according to the Jute Manufactures Development Council (JMDC). The growth in value was 317 per cent.
The industry had brought this abnormal rise in import to the notice of both the PMO and the Union textile ministry. The PMO
is believed to have sought an independent report from the Jute Commissioner in
Calcutta so as to take up the matter during Hasina’s visit. The government fears excessive import may
affect both the farmers and the industry. According to the JMDC, the government body which promotes the export of jute products and monitors import, the flow of raw
jute from Bangladesh during April-November was 79,604 tonnes at Rs 188.7 crore. Import, during the same period in 2008, was
36,161 tonnes at Rs 45 crore.In jute products, import was 69,180 tonnes at Rs 256.3 crore
during the period under review, up from 46,840 tonnes at Rs 127.6 crore. Source: The Telegraph
No end in sight to jute strike
KOLKATA, January 8, 2010: The indefinite jute strike, spearheaded by 20 central trade unions
(TUs), is 25 days old, but there is still no sign of an amicable settlement . The state and the central governments have held several rounds of talks with jute industry representatives and the striking
TUs, but the contending parties have so far refused to budge. As a result, the strike continues.
The industry submitted a number of proposals to the state labour
minister when representatives of both Ijma and non-Ijma mills met him at a recent meeting. Unless these proposals are accepted and implemented , the industry said it will not be able to pay the DA, PF, ESI and gratuity arrears to mill workers numbering over 2 lakh.
The industry also pointed out that in the event of an industry wide strike , the TUs calling the strike should see that no mill is exempted, unlike earlier strikes. In support of its reasoning , industry sources said there is a wide disparity in mill wages and, therefore, it becomes an incumbent on all parties to see that the settlement is implemented in all mills so that there are no variations. It also said the latest recommendation of Tariff Commission 2009 for justified price of B.Twill bags must be implemented immediately .It is also necessary to implement productivity-linked wages as agreed upon in the three earlier tripartite agreements. Source: The Economic Times
WB jute mills stir: Govt eases foodgrain packing norms
New Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI) The entire foodgrain production need not be packed in
jute bags, following relaxation of a Central rule that mandated 100 per cent
jute packaging. The Ministry of Textiles relaxed the jute packaging order in the wake of strike
in the jute mills, resulting in shortage of packaging bags made of the environment-friendly fibre.
The Government has given relaxation equivalent to 3.84 lakh bales for the
marketing season of Kharif (2009-10) and Rabi (2010-11), an official said.
Following this, the foodgrain can now be packed in synthetics to the extent the
rule has been relaxed. "The decision comes in the wake of the wage-related strike in 52 mills of the
total 54 in West Bengal. Besides, the drought in the state has affected jute
production," he said.