• The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently extended regulations for mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar in jute material for jute year 2017-18, i.e, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The decision followed demands from the jute industry regarding the same and will support the livelihood of the workers and farmers in the sector.

    The CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, extended the norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.

    The approval mandates that 90 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent of sugar products will be packed in jute bags. The rest 10 per cent of food grains will be packed in jute bags provided sufficient such bags are available.

    The decision will benefit around 40 lakh farmers and 3.7 lakh workers in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country, particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura, according to an official press release.

    Jute industry is predominantly dependent on the government sector, which purchases jute products worth more than Rs 5,500 crore every year. (DS)

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