The Bengal jute mills facing closure due to shortage of orders from government food-procuring agencies and moreover worried over synthetic substitutes as well as huge labour and drastic production costs.
An Indian Jute Mills Association release said that already five jute mills had closed down and in others there was an across-the-board drastic production cuts.
The jute industry is in severe crisis with number of jute mills are forced to close down. Already 50,000 workers are rendered jobless and if this situation continues, there will be block closure of jute mills, associationâ€™s secretary S P Bakshi said.
He said that against a requirement of 32 lakh bales projected in the Standing Advisory Committee meeting by the Jute Commissioner, the total requirement is likely to be only 23 lakh bales in this financial year during both kharif and rabi procurement seasons.
The situation has arisen due to lack of orders for 50 kg jute bags for supplies to government food procuring agencies in the coming months from February to April, 2014.
Against the jute industry's capacity of 3 lakh bales monthly, the total projected requirement by the government in the three months from February to April, 2014 is only 1.91 lakh bales.
The Cabinet Committee in a decision taken on November 28, last year had directed jute packaging of foodgrains at last year's level of 90 per cent, but reduced the extent of packaging of sugar to 20 per cent this year as against 40 per cent last year.
Despite repeated protests and representations of the jute industry this decision of the Cabinet has not yet been implemented.
If this situation continues, the jute mills will be left with no other option but to shut down. The jute industry has drawn the attention of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
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