The Government has made it mandatory to use the jute in packaging for the Jute Year 2015-16 (1st July, 2015 to 30th June, 2016).
The decision 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. Besides, it will 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 Act, the Government has decided that the following:-
The following commodities may be reserved for jute packaging for the Jute Year 2015-16 (1st July, 2015 to 30th June, 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
*With the stipulation that in the first instance, the indents for the whole requirement would be placed for jute bags and in case jute mills would not be able to provide jute bags as per requisition, then a dilution upto 10% would be permissible by the Department of Food & Public Distribution.
Sugar packed for export but which could not be exported, sugar fortified with vitamins, packing for export of commodities, consumer packs of 10 kgs and below for foodgrains and 25 kgs and below for sugar and bulk packing of more than 100 kgs may be exempted from the reservation order under JPM Act. Further, Ministry of Textiles may relax the provisions for reservation upto a maximum of 30% of the foodgrains, over and above the norms prescribed.
Consumer packs of quantity of above 10 kgs and upto 25 kgs for packing of foodgrains should be done in jute bags for distribution of foodgrains under Foodgrains Security Act subject to such bags being cost competitive as compared to HDPE/PP bags factoring in the subsidy/reimbursement provided by Government of India for packing of foodgrains.
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.