News & Updates

27 December 2015

Source: The Financial Express

Indian acting high commissioner calls on Textiles minister

Indian acting High Commissioner in Dhaka Dr Adarsh Swaika has called on Textiles and Jute Minister M Emaj Uddin Pramanik at his Secretariat office. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral trade and commerce of textiles and jute products.

Emaj Uddin Pramanik said the Bangladesh government has taken many initiatives for the development of the jute industry. From November 30, the government started implementing Mandatory Jute Packaging Act-2010, he mentioned. He said the ministry has issued a notification asking to use sacks of jute in carrying and preserving six products-- paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertilizer and sugar. The Indian acting envoy recalled the friendly relations between Bangladesh and India. He hoped the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries will be further strengthened through increasing of trade and commerce, according to BSS. - biplab

17 December 2015

Source: Business Standard

Jute firms' scrips surge on hopes of demand spike for bags

Share prices of jute processing companies jumped up to 17 per cent on Thursday, on expectation of a spurt in demand for bags in the coming rabi harvesting season. The share price of Gloster rose 16.6 per cent to close at Rs 652.20 and of Cheviot by 8.3 per cent to Rs 1,020.25 apiece. The scrip of jute bag making companies have doubled in the past three months.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had on December 9 re-approved mandatory use of jute in packing of grain for Jute Year 2015-16 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016), to support ailing mills, largely in Bengal and Assam. Jute packing has been made mandatory for at least 90 per cent of foodgrain and 20 per cent of sugar production. The decision will provide relief to 370,000 workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units, beside supporting the livelihood of 250,000 farm families. The industry also makes the point about jute being natural, biodegradable and a reusable fibre.

Output is actually likely to fall 15-20 per cent this year, due to unseasonal rain in major producing regions. Last year, total production was estimated at five million tonnes. Bangladesh, a major producer of jute bags, banned their export to India in early November. Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, the government may consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packing material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities. It may also relax the ambit.

17 December 2015

Source: bdnews24.com

Use of jute bags must for preservation and transportation of six products

The government has made the use of jute bags mandatory in preservation and transportation of six products -- paddy, rice, wheat, corn, fertiliser and sugar.

The jute ministry issued a circular on Thursday to this effect.

In an earlier circular on Feb 5 last year, the government had made the use of jute compulsory in the preservation and transportation of 20 kgs or more of the six items.

The government is operating mobile courts across the country to ensure an enforcement of the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act, 2010 following the last year’s circular.

15 December 2015

Source: The Financial Express

Govt comes to rescue of crisis-hit jute industry

The Centre has ensured a special protection to the jute industry by bringing jute products under the environment-friendly category. This has ensured that the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packaging Commodities) Act, 1987, would not be diluted.

So long the jute, according to government norms, was only considered as a labour-intensive industry and government policies were framed accordingly.

The finance ministry in November 2014 recommended dilution and full phase out of the jute packaging Act by 2016-17. The government procurements were also gradually coming down to this effect. But the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided that the minimum percentage to be reserved for packaging in jute should be retained to 90% in case of food grains and 20% in case of sugar.

The decision follows a report by MP Chandan Mitra, in which he said that the government should take an in-principle decision of not diluting the jute packaging Act. He recommended that jute packages get its due share of food packaging.

An official in the office of the jute commissioner said the government has already decided on its procurement target. Based on the Department of Food and Public Distribution’s projection, there would be requirement of 90 lakh bales of raw jute in 2016-17 to meet the jute packaging demands.

Sanjay Kajaria of the Indian Jute Manufacturers’ Association (IJMA) and also owner of Gondalpara, Hastings and India Jute mills, said although the government has ordered consumer packs of above 10 kg and up to 25 kg to be done in jute bags for distribution of foodgrains under the Food Security Act, the packaging has been kept subject to cost competitiveness compared to HDPE/PP or plastic bags.

The cost competitiveness factors in the subsidy the government provides for foodgrains. But for jute bag makers the problem lies in the cost of production, since there is scarcity of raw material effecting in higher price of jute.

11 December 2015

Source: Prothom Alo

6m jute sacks remain unsold in state-owned jute mills

Some 60 lakh jute sacks, produced in eight state-owned jute mills in Khulna last month as per the jute and textile ministry’s directive, remained unsold for lack of proper marketing.

Upon the government’s directive of making jute sacks mandatory for packaging of some products, the eight jute mills in the district went on a production spree to produce 70 lakh jute sacks last month.

The mills, however, could sell only 10 lakh jute sacks due to proper marketing and poor awareness, leaving the remaining 60 lakh sacks unsold.

Officials concerned at the jute mills said law enforcers conducted drives to ensure the use of jute sacks for packaging. But, no effective step has been taken to reach these jute sacks to farmers and other end users. Hence jute mills are incurring losses while users still remain in the dark, they said.

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) stresses producing jute sacks in recent times, aiming to implement the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010.

Besides, the jute mills refrained from making export-oriented jute products as they produced only jute sacks for the last one month as per the BJMC guideline.

Visiting different jute mills and talking to the official concerned, the UNB correspondent found that the produced jute sacks are not being sold in the market as expected and the mills are unable to produce other jute products, causing financial crisis to jute mills which now have little funds to procure new raw materials for jute production.

BJMC Deputy Director General and Regional Coordinator Md Mohabbat Ali said Khulna’s eight jute mills were given a target of producing 2 lakh 63 thousand jute sacks a day. As per the target, these mills produced a total of 7,020,000 jute sacks in just one month.

Regarding the poor sales of the jute sacks, he said dealers are being appointed across the country. So far, 137 dealers are working, more dealers will be appointed soon. As the dealers’ network expands, the jute sacks sales will mark a rise, he said.

Khulna Jute Department’s Assistant Director Abdul Karim said the current demand for jute sacks in the district is 60 lakh in a year.

Drives against polythene bags have been strengthened, resulting in rise of demand of jute sacks. Now, BJMC will ensure the proper sales of these jute sacks.

11 December 2015

Source: The Assam Tribune

Jute cultivation area rises in State

GUWAHATI, Dec 11 - The area under jute cultivation has increased in the State during the last five years and jute farmers are getting better remunerative prices for their crop, the State Government said today.

Replying to a draw attention raised by AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam in the Legislative Assembly, Agriculture Minister Rakibul Hussain said that over 70,000 hectares of land in the State was under jute cultivation this year as against around 62,000 hectares in 2010-11.

“There has also been some fluctuation in the price of jute. This year jute is fetching Rs 3,400-4,750 per quintal in the State as against Rs 2,600-3,500 per quintal last year. If this trend continues, jute farming will become more sustainable and farmers will benefit,” Hussain said.

He added that the Central Government is working to ensure that there is no artificial shortage of jute, including by hoarding, and the State Government is extending full cooperation in the matter.

Earlier, citing a report in The Assam Tribune regarding the Centre’s plans to impose stockholding limit on raw jute, Islam had said that even though Bangladesh has stopped the export of jute, thus pushing up prices in India, the farmers here are not getting proper prices.

“While jute prices in the market are around Rs 4,900-5,200 per quintal, farmers are only getting half of it. There is no incentive for the farmers,” he said.

11 December 2015

Source: The Financial Express

60 lakh jute sacks lying unsold

Some 60 lakh jute sacks, produced by eight state-owned jute mills of Khulna, remained unsold for lack of proper marketing. These were produced last month by the direction of Jute and Textile Ministry.

Upon the government’s directive of making jute sacks mandatory for packaging of some products, the eight jute mills in the district went on a production spree to produce 70 lakh jute sacks last month. The mills, however, could sell only 10 lakh jute sacks due to proper marketing and poor awareness, leaving the remaining 60 lakh sacks unsold. Officials concerned at the jute mills said law enforcers conducted drives to ensure the use of jute sacks for packaging. But, no effective step has been taken to reach these jute sacks to farmers and other end users. Hence jute mills are incurring losses while users still remain in the dark, they said. Md Mohabbat Ali, Deputy Director General and Regional Coordinator of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), said Khulna’s eight jute mills were given a target of producing 2 lakh 63 thousand jute sacks a day. As per the target, these mills produced a total of 7,020,000 jute sacks in just one month. Khulna Jute Department’s Assistant Director Abdul Karim said the current demand for jute sacks in the district is 60 lakh in a year. Drives against polythene bags have been strengthened, resulting in rise of demand of jute sacks. Now, BJMC will ensure the proper sales of these jute sacks, according to UNB. -Mithun

11 December 2015

Source: PrepSure

CCEA approved mandatory use of Jute in Packaging of certain commodities

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for mandatory use of jute in packaging for the Jute Year 2015-16 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) on December 9, 2015. The decision has been taken as under Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in Packaging Commodities) Act, 1987 . The will provide relief to 3.7 lakh workers employed in Jute Mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families. As presently, the Jute industry has been experiencing crisis after floods in several parts of West Bengal growing Jute and export ban by Bangladesh. This has led to sharp rise in prices of Jute making it unproiftable for Jute Mills. This led to closure of several Jute mills and economic crisis for several people employed in Jute industry. Besides being a relief for Jute producers, it will also help to protect the environment because jute is natural, biodegradable and reusable fibre.

Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 (JPM Act), the Government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of persons engaged in the production thereof and for matters connected therewith.

In pursuance of the JPM (Jute Packaging Materials) Act, the Government has decided that the following:-

1) The following commodities may be reserved for jute packaging for the Jute Year 2015-16 ( July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016), to the extent mentioned below:

Commodity: Minimum percentage to be reserved for packaging in Jute

Foodgrains: 90% of the production

Sugar: 20% of the production

Union Ministry of Textiles may relax the provisions for reservation upto a maximum of 30% of the foodgrains, over and above the norms prescribed.

3) Packs of fodgrains weighing above 10 kgs and upto 25 kgs for packing of foodgrains should be done in jute bags for distribution of foodgrains under the Foodgrains Security Act as Jute bags are cost efficient.

4) With a view to reducing the cost of jute bags all future orders of the Government shall be for lighter weight bags of 580 and 600 gms subject to conformity with relevant BIS standards.

The step has been taken in view to relieve the Jute farmers especially in Bengal where hectares worth of crops of Jute has been destroyed or damaged due to floods in Jute producing parts. Furthermore, the Government of Bangladesh has imposed a ban on export of Jute which has led to further shortage of Jute and rise in prices of it. About 75% of the total Jute produced in India is produced in the state of West Bengal and gives direct employment to about 2 lakh people in Jute Mills.

04 December 2015

Source: The Hindu

Govt. to breathe new life into ailing jute industry

Over 40 lakh farmers and nearly four lakh mill workers depend on the jute industry for their livelihood.

In a move that may bring about a sea change in the lives of over 40 lakh distressed farmers and workers, the Union Textiles Ministry has urged State governments to help diversify the ailing jute industry by exploring new avenues for promotion.

The Centre has thought of various products that can be made from jute, such as waste-paper baskets, folders, laptop bags, and moulded item. Most importantly, jute geo-textile products can be used in civil engineering works such as road construction and protection of hill slopes.

“An important characteristic of jute is that it absorbs and retains moisture. This makes it very effective in the construction of roads and protection of hill slopes, by inducing vegetation growth. It also helps in stabilising sand dunes,” a government official said.

Apart from these products, the government has asked the States to promote jute bags for students. “This move will help generate employment,” the official said. Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has written to several Chief Ministers requesting that they consider introducing jute school bags.

Observing that the industry supports over 40 lakh farmers and 3.7 lakh jute labourers, Mr. Gangwar wrote: “To make the industry competitive and sustainable, it is necessary to diversify and move away from the traditional activities and products. In this context, I seek help in the promotion of diversification in the jute industry. You may please consider introducing jute bags for school children under the HRD schemes in your State.”

The proposal, initially suggested by activist Gouri Shankar Jain from Odisha, has been made at a time when the industry is beset with scams and growing unrest among jute farmers and mill workers.

India accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s total production of jute products. Over 90 mills are currently operational, 67 in West Bengal alone. The rest are in Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

However, the industry’s overdependence on government orders is considered a major factor behind the current state of affairs. The government buys jute sacks worth Rs. 5,000 crore a year for packaging of food grains and sugar under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Another cause of worry is that export of jute products has been badly hit after large-scale import from Bangladesh, which offers 10 per cent subsidy on domestic jute products and huge funding to its mills and exporters.

04 December 2015

Source: Yarns and Fibers

Bangladesh govt imposes ban on raw jute exports

The Bangladesh textiles and jute ministry yesterday issued an order which states that all types of raw jute for an indefinite period has been banned to meet the country’s additional demand for jute in implementing the mandatory jute packaging law. Millers, both public and private, have welcomed the latest move taken by the government, saying it would bring new investment and create jobs.

Mirza Azam, state minister for textiles and jute said that the country need an additional 17-19 lakh bales in the next nine months if they want to fully implement the jute packaging law. They will be in a crisis if they don”t stop export of raw jute. Earlier, the government had imposed a similar ban for a month, starting on November 3.

According to state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Bangladesh produces around 58 lakh bales of jute a year, which is equivalent to 1.04 million tonnes. The country's internal consumption is 38 lakh bales (0.68 million tonnes). On an average, Bangladesh exports 21 lakh bales of raw jute a year. The price of the exported raw jute is around Tk 1,000 crore.

However, Bangladesh has failed to use this eco-friendly and biodegradable product, despite being the second biggest producer of raw jute after India. As a result, low-cost plastic products have grabbed the local market.

To promote the use of jute products, the government enacted the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act in 2010. The rules of the law were formulated in 2013, stipulating that all traders as well as government organisations must use jute bags to pack paddy, rice, pulses, wheat, fertiliser and sugar. Even after the mandatory law, concerned organisations did not follow the rules.

In recent months, the government launched drives to promote jute-based packaging. The minister said that the producers and traders of plastic packaging materials will not be spared if they impede the use of the eco-friendly jute bags.

Raids through mobile courts are on across the country and it will continue until the full implementation of the jute packaging law.

Harunoor Rashid, managing director of Al-haj Jute Mills, said that India is the biggest producer of jute, but the country consumes 95 percent of its jute and exports only 5 percent. Similarly, they can make their own market that will benefit growers, farmers and millers. But investment on research and development is a must to expand the local market for jute goods.

Humayun Khaled, chairman of BJMC said that though many government agencies come under the purview of the law, there has been little interest on their part to use jute bags, let alone private enterprises and businesses. The government agencies buy very nominal compared to their requirement.

According to BJMC, in Bangladesh there are 205 jute mills, including 81 jute spinners. Of them, 27 units are state-owned. The jute sector employs around a total of 156,549 people.

According to Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue, if the packaging law is full enforced it will create demand for 84 crore jute bags a year for selected agricultural and non-agricultural product/

Jute is the second most important fibre after cotton. It is used mainly to make cloth for wrapping bales of raw cotton, and to make sacks and coarse cloth. The fibre is also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, rugs, hessian cloth, and backing for linoleum.

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