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Bengal”s Food & Supplies dept convenes meeting over raw jute crisis

Kolkata, The West Bengal Food and Supplies department has convened a meeting with the stakeholders over raw jute crisis and impending jute bag shortage for food grain packaging.

The meeting will be held on November 24 over an “unprecedented crisis” in the jute industry due to escalation in raw jute price and hoarding and reluctance by traders and suppliers to sell raw jute to jute mills, the Food and Supplies department said in a letter to stakeholders.

West Bengal procures between one lakh to two lakh bales worth jute bags for the year and backlog is to the tune of 50 per cent, sources said.

Some states like Punjab and Haryana are facing a shortage of jute bags for packaging kharif crops impacting government procurement.

The Jute Balers Association has moved court against the Jute Commissioner”s stock limit order to 500 quintals.

“We have submitted our application in the High Court. We will contest the Jute Commissioner”s order to reduce the stock limit to 500 quintals from 1500 quintals when mills have two months of stock. Such orders can be exercised when there is a shortage,” JBA president Madan Gopal Toshniwal told PTI.

JBA said it will go ahead with their proposed suspension of trading activities from November 23 citing viability to continue operation.

Trade unions and Indian Jute Mills Association had also sought West Bengal government”s intervention to resolve the crisis. PTI