August 4, 2017
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy makes a Zero Hour mention on the deplorable state of the jute sector in India
Sir, through you I would like to draw the attention of the Central Government to the pitiable condition of the jute sector in India. Last year, 13 lakh tonnes of jute were produced in 5 lakh hectares of land.
The Jute Corporation of India, under the Government of India, bought only 56,000 bales whereas 90 lakh bales were available. Farmers who are associated with the jute industry are forced to opt for distress sale. They are selling jute at a loss of Rs 400-500 per quintal. The Jute Corporation has not reached out to them in this distress.
Even this year, the Jute Corporation of India has not yet intervened in the market until now. As a result, farmers are not getting the MSP (as decided by the Government) on jute. This year too the farmers are selling their produce at a loss of Rs 700-800 per quintal. This is the sorry state our farmers are in. Almost 30 lakh families are connected to the jute sector; hence, this is a matter of concern.
That apart, due to the anti-people policies adopted by the Centre, 17 of the 62 jute mills have had to close down last year, of which seven have closed down permanently. There are three Government-run mills among these – National, Alexandra and Union. These three jute mills have closed down forever.
The policy that the Government announced this year is helping the plastic lobby; the Jute Packaging Material Compulsory Act has been violated and diluted. The Government has announced instructions to stop the use of all jute bags by 2024. Till now, the Government has decreased up to 80% the use of jute bags for sugar packaging, and up to 50% for other foodgrains.