White paper proposed for revival of Bengal jute industry

Kolkata
29 Oct 2017

The West Bengal government is looking at a long-term solution for the ailing jute industry and likely to prepare a white paper for the revival of the sector that offers livelihood to lakhs of people.
The state government has offered a temporary solution of procuring jute bags on behalf of the Centre to boost the demand of the golden fibre.
Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture Department, Sanjeev Chopra, who chaired a recent meeting at the state secretariat on the issue, suggested that a white paper might be prepared with inputs from all major stakeholders.
Once ready, the white paper could be placed at the Group of Ministers' (GoM) meeting, a source present at the meeting told PTI.
"The state will procure 1.2 lakh bales of gunny bags in the current kharif season at a cost of Rs 300-325 crore, which would then be reimbursed by the Centre," the source said.
The meeting noted that there was an alarming surplus situation of the TD6 (lower) variety of jute and farmers sold raw jute for around Rs 700 less than the minimum support price.
"The quantity is not large and the move (by the state government) will offer a short-term solution. The major problem is that the TD6 variety cannot be used to make 580 gm bags," a former chairman of Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) said.
The Jute Corporation of India (JCI), during the meeting, also informed the officials they were facing shortage of funds for raw material procurement.
JCI operates 27 direct purchase centres out of 171 in West Bengal. It had purchased just 65,000 bales under MSP out of the total state production of 65 lakh bales this kharif season.