At least 90 percent of grain and 20 percent of sugar produced in the country would now have to be packed in jute bags, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided on Wednesday.
An official statement said the decision would provide relief to 3.7 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families.
Besides, it would help to protect the environment because jute is natural, biodegradable and reusable fibre.
Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, the government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of persons engaged in the production thereof and for matters connected therewith.
In pursuance of the Act, the government decided that 90 percent of food grain production and 20 percent of sugar would be reserved for jute packaging in 2015-16
The statement however added that in case jute mills were not able to provide jute bags as per the requisition, a dilution of up to 10 percent would be permissible.
Sugar packed for export but which could not be exported, sugar fortified with vitamins, packing for export of commodities, consumer packs of 10 kg and below for food grain and 25 kg and below for sugar and bulk packing of more than 100 kg may also be exempted from the reservation order under the Act.
Meanwhile, packing of food grain above 10 kg and up to 25 kg should be done in jute bags.
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