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Terms set for easing jute packing rules

Calcutta: The standing advisory committee which recommends jute-packaging norms to the government has called for a conditional dilution on the use of jute bags to pack foodgrains for jute year 2018-19 (July-June).

The committee, while recommending the commodity wise reservation under Jute Packaging Materials Act, has proposed 100 per cent of the foodgrains produced be reserved for the packaging of jute.

However, if the mills fail to supply the bags on receiving the entire requirement from the procuring agencies within 30 days, the department of food and public distribution may allow the dilution of packaging material of up to 10 per cent at a time and 30 per cent in the whole year, with the approval of the textile ministry.

Conversely, if the procuring agencies do not place indents according to the supply plan prepared by the department of food and public distribution and if there is a bunching of indents (orders exceeding 2.5 lakh bales a month), the procuring agency is unlikely to have the benefit of dilution and the mills may get additional time to meet the requirement.

In case the mills fail even after the extension, the dilution provisions would be applicable. The issue of the timely supply of jute bags for the purpose of packaging has remained a key area of concern on both sides - the procuring agencies and the mills.

The department of food and public distribution while presenting its view before the committee has noted that the placement of early indents is difficult for the procuring agencies as the assessment of crop size and the arrangement of funds take time.

The department had sought relaxation in procurement based on the projected requirement and the industry's ability to supply the bags.

Opinion

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