New Delhi, (PTI) The Union Cabinet on Friday approved mandatory packaging norms for Jute Year 2023-24, under which it will be compulsory to pack 100 per cent of foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar in jute bags.
The decision is likely to provide relief to 4 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families.
The reservation norms in the present proposal would further protect the interest of domestic production of raw jute and jute packaging material in India, thereby, making India self-reliant in consonance with Aatmnirbhar Bharat, an official release said.
“Mandatory packaging norms approved for Jute Year 2023-24 provide for 100 per cent reservation of the foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar to be compulsorily packed in jute bags,” said the release, giving details about the decision taken at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Reservation for packaging in jute packaging material consumed around 65 per cent of the raw jute produced in the country (in 2022-23).
The decision will help protect environment because jute is natural, bio- degradable, renewable and reusable fibre and hence fulfils all sustainability parameters, the release added.
As much as 75 per cent of the total production of the jute industry is jute sacking bags, of which 85 per cent is supplied to the Food Corporation of India (FCl) and State Procurement Agencies and remaining is exported/sold directly.
The central government purchases jute sacking bags worth approximately Rs 12,000 crore every year for packing of foodgrains, hence ensuring guaranteed market for the produce of jute farmers and workers.
Average production of jute sacking bags is about 30 lakhs bales (9 lakh MT). PTI