Kolkata

Mamata thanks IJMA for helping West Bengal’s jute industry

There are more than 60 jute mills in West Bengal, with about 2.5 lakh workers alongside lakhs of farmers growing jute spread across several districts of the State.

There are more than 60 jute mills in West Bengal, with about 2.5 lakh workers alongside lakhs of farmers growing jute spread across several districts of the State. | Photo Credit: AFP

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) Chairman Raghavendra Gupta, thanking the industry body for securing the interests of the State’s jute farmers and workers. 

“As you are aware, our continued efforts bore fruit, and the price ceiling of raw jute was withdrawn by the Jute Commissioner with effect from 20th May 2022,” Ms. Banerjee wrote in her letter.

The CM also said the Union Minister of Textiles had informed her about a new ‘Capital Subsidy Acquisition of Plant and Machinery’ (CSAPM) scheme. “CSAPM has been introduced during the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 and this will give a boost to the production of Jute Diversified Products,” Ms. Banerjee stated. She added that there was no bar on jute mills importing raw jute for use in any sector other than as packaging for food grains and sugar.

After months of protests by representatives of jute mills, the State government, and trade unions, the Jute Commissioner withdrew the cap on the price of raw jute in May 2022. About a dozen jute mills in West Bengal closed down between September 2021 and May 2022 because of the cap on the price on raw jute.

“Last year, I had written to the Government of India, requesting them to withdraw the statutory ceiling of ₹6,500 per quintal of raw jute, as the measure neither failed to arrest the abnormal price hike of raw jute, nor could it ensure its steady supply to the jute mills. We realised that removal of the ceiling was imperative for protection of the interest of the jute growers and workers of the State and in helping our farmers getting the actual price for their produce,” the Chief Minister said.

Ms. Banerjee said that in her communication to the Centre, she had urged that the Union government should continue with its policy of 100% use of jute bags for the food grains packaging industry, and should also look to enhance the import of raw jute from Bangladesh.

There are more than 60 jute mills in West Bengal, with about 2.5 lakh workers alongside lakhs of farmers growing jute spread across several districts of the State, who are dependent on the industry. These workers and farmers depend on the use of jute bags for packaging food grains and sugar, which comprises 80% of all the jute mills’ production.


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 8:51:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mamata-thanks-ijma-for-helping-west-bengals-jute-industry/article65608446.ece