Cabinet Approves Packaging Of Foodgrains, Sugar In Jute Bags
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The Union Cabinet made it compulsory for the packaging of 100 percent food grains and 20 percent sugar to be done in jute bags, as the reservation for jute packaging material used in these processes consumes 65% of the total raw jute produced in the country. These diversified jute bags reserved for Jute Year 2023-24, is intended to provide relief for 4 lakh workers who seek employment in jute mills and ancillary units, as well as provide livelihood to over 40 lakh farm families.

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Besides being a positive environmental measure, the proposed plan also protects the interests of the domestic production of raw jute, thereby adding to the idea of a self-sufficient country. The jute economy, that is a significant contributor to the annual GDP overall and especially in the Eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Telangana – is also backed by the JPM (Jute Packaging Material) Act of 1987, that safeguards anyone who works in the process of jute production. With 75% of the industry engaged in producing sacking bags, out of which the Food Corporation of India and State Procurement Agencies utilise 85% of the total quantity, the remaining is exported or sold directly to consumers.

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With the government expenditure for jute sacks racking up an annual amount of ₹12,000 crores for packing food grains, a guaranteed market for workers and farmers has been ensured. A Jute Year, typically occurring from July 1 to June 30, emphasises the need for jute crop protection as well as seeks employment and engagement opportunities for those directly involved. The average production of jute bags is around 9 lakh metric tonnes or 30 lakh bales of the renewable and reusable fibre.