Other States

Trinamool trade union protests Centre’s jute policies

Bundled up Harvested and dried, silken strands of jute fibre being transported to factories. File

Bundled up Harvested and dried, silken strands of jute fibre being transported to factories. File | Photo Credit: Himmat Rana

The Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) on Wednesday hit the streets in protest against the Union government’s policies on the jute sector. Senior party leaders, including Ministers Moloy Ghatak and Becharam Manna, were present at the gathering, which assembled outside the office of the Jute Commissioner of India in Kolkata’s Salt Lake area.

INTTUC State president Ritabrata Banerjee demanded the setting up of a Centre-State Joint Inquiry Committee (JIC) to probe and identify the culprits within and outside the Textile Ministry, “who are conspiring to destroy West Bengal’s jute sector”. A memorandum was also submitted to Jute Commissioner Moloy Chandan Chakraborty, who said that he would look into the document.

Supporters of INTTUC, the labour wing of the State’s ruling party, burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Textile Minister Piyush Goyal.  INTTUC demanded immediate revision of the price cap of ₹6,500 per quintal of raw jute, introduction of new jute bag prices that has been pending since April 1, 2021, and retrospective effect from September 2016 in accordance with the suggestions of the Tariff Commission.

This is the first major protest that has been organised after over a dozen of jute mills closed down in the past few months because of shortage in the supply of raw jute, leaving thousands of jute mill workers without work. The development comes ahead of a tripartite meeting involving representatives of the Centre, the West Bengal Government, and jute mills, including the Indian Jute Mill Association, on May 9.

West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president and Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh has also been blaming the Office of the Jute Commissioner, which comes under the Ministry of Textiles, for the imbroglio. Last week. Mr. Singh met Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi on the issue and said that the meeting was fruitful. “There cannot be any solution before the tripartite meeting. We cannot be swayed away by assurances alone,” the BJP MP said, adding that he will also join the protests if there was no outcome after the meeting on May 9.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 11, 2022 9:49:18 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trinamool-trade-union-protests-centres-jute-policies/article65382236.ece