The decline in jute demand has led to closure of some mills in India while affecting production and has rendered over 1 lakh workers jobless. Reeling under the impact of severe demand crisis, jute manufacturers have urged the government to take immediate measures to revive the industry.
Indian Jute Mills Association Chairman Raghavendra Gupta said that as Bangladesh government has a 10 percent cash incentive on export of jute products from their country, this restricts us to become residual sellers in the global market as Bangladesh manufacturers are cheaper backed by this 10 per cent subsidy.
Import of jute products from Bangladesh is on the rise which is severely affecting interests of Indian jute industry. The prices of raw jute fibre have declined 15 per cent, even as the harvesting season for new crop of jute begins.
The industry fears that if fibre prices keep declining, farmers may shift away from cultivating jute this year on account of low returns.
Gupta has also requested the Textiles Ministry to restore the percentage of reservation of packaging of foodgrain and sugar into jute bags to 100 per cent.
Under the Jute Packaging Act, the percentage of reservation of packaging of foodgrain and sugar into jute bags is reviewed every year. Currently 90 percent foodgrains and 20 percent sugar is mandated to be packed in jute bags. As the case is 2 years back, request as been put up to restore it to 100 per cent for both.
The other measures suggested include containing imports from Bangladesh, as the neighbouring country offers a 10 percent cash incentive on the export of jute items.
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