Now 40 % of sugar output to be packed in jute material

In a relief to the sugar sector, the government has relaxed the compulsory jute packing norms by allowing mills to pack only 40 per cent of their sugar output in jute bags this year, instead of 100 per cent.

Under the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987, the government had made 100 per cent mandatory reservation for jute bags for packaging of sugar and foodgrains.

“Forty per cent of sugar production will be required to be packed in jute material manufactured in India from raw jute produced in India,” a Textile Ministry notification said.

Not only sugar, the government has relaxed mandatory jute packing norms for foodgrains to 90 per cent of total production, the notification said. However, the new mandatory jute packing norm would not be applicable to sugar fortified with vitamins, packing for export of commodities, small consumer packs of 25 kg and below and bulk packaging of more than one kilogram, it said.

Sugar packed for export but which could not be shipped may be exempted from this order after assessment by the Food Ministry, it added.

The new jute packing norms would be applicable during the 2012-13 crop year (July-June).

In case of short supply of jute bags, the notification said, “The Textile Ministry may in consultation with user ministries, relax these provision further, up to a maximum of 30 per cent of total production of foodgrains and sugar.”

Welcoming the notification, Indian Sugar Mills Association Director-General Abinash Verma said, “The government has finally accepted. There is an inadequate availability of raw jute and lower capacity of jute mills to take care the demand from foodgrains and sugar sectors.”

This would benefit consumers and companies, he added.

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