The Centre has decided not to dilute the jute packaging order now and will take a call after six weeks, a state minister said on Monday.
“The Centre has decided not to dilute the packaging order now and will take a decision after six weeks based on the situation of the raw jute crisis,” state labour minister Malay Ghatak said after meeting Union Textile minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
The Centre has diluted 1.34 lakh bales of procurement plan, but that was not part of the 90 per cent minimum procurement order under the Jute Packaging Material (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987. “The raw jute holding limit had been decided. The limit for traders is 1,7000 bales with a limit of 15 days and for mills not more than two months stock,” Ghatak said.
“Notification for the raw jute limit will be one in a day or two,” Jute Commissioner Subrata Gupta said. The anti-hoarding drive was expected to commence shortly after the notification, he said.
However, a jute sector expert said given the raw jute situation, jute mills should not be allowed to hold stock for more than three weeks to bring down the raw jute price that had shot up by over 30 per cent.
Some 12 jute mills have closed down leaving about a lakh workers jobless. Ghatak said he would keep a close vigil on the situation.