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Balers to suspend raw jute supply

Kolkata, Nov 8 Raw jute suppliers have decided to suspend trading activities of the commodity for an indefinite period from November 23 to protest against the Centre”s decision to reduce the maximum stock limit to 500 quintals from 1,500, officials said on Sunday.

The proposed suspension of trading may disrupt manufacturing of jute bags at mills due to non-availability of raw material, they said, adding that this could aggravate the current shortage of sacks for packaging of foodgrain.

The Jute Balers” Association, in a letter to the millers” body, has informed that they will suspend all raw jute trade activities from November 23.

In a bid to prevent hoarding, the Jute Commissioner had capped raw jute holding at 1,500 quintals on own or third party account in August, and on Friday asked traders to bring it down to 500 quintals in the next 10 days.

The steps were taken after the price of the commodity had soared to an unprecedented level of over Rs 6,000 per quintal as against the MSP (minimum support price) of Rs 4,225.

“We have been compelled to take this unpleasant decision as it is nearly impossible to do business with such quantity,” the Jute Balers” Association secretary A K Palit said.

A senior official of the Jute Commissioner”s Office said control measures were taken to restrict abnormal price rise of the fibre, and they have been keeping a close watch on the situation.

Jute traders and suppliers play an import role in the commodity trading as they control nearly 100 per cent of the raw material supply to the mills, industry sources said.