December 18, 2014
Ratna De Nag speaks on the sick jute industry | Transcript
I wish to bring to the notice of the government that jute industry is reeling under deep crisis due to reduction in demand of the jute goods in last one year. The sad part is that, eight jute mills have closed down. We are witnessing severe production cuts across the country resulting in over 1 lakh jute workers going jobless.
West Bengal contributes more than 80% of the total jute production. In West Bengal 64 jute mills are operating in unorganised sector, employing 3 lakh workers and supporting 40 lakh jute farmers. Nearly 40 lakh farming families and 25 lakh persons are directly involved in this trade. 23 lakh farming families are closely engaged in jute cultivation.
Of late, jute and allied fibre sectors are facing stiff competition from synthetics. Added to this, changing climatic conditions, shortage of labourers, non-availability of quality seeds and steep hike of different agricultural imports, have increased the cost of jute production considerably.
I would strongly ask the Minister of Textiles to go through the certain policy decision taken by it which leads to the current crisis and address the issues of requirements for packaging of food grains and sugar by knowing the exact picture from the representatives of the Indian Jute Mill Association.
Before taking any decision concerning the jute industry, I would strongly ask the central government to consult the Indian Jute Mill Association and all other stake holders and the West Bengal Government. I would like to request the central government to support the cause of jute industry so that placements of orders and productions would increase and closed jute mills in West Bengal reopen.
Thank you, Sir.