The ministry of Textiles has decided that all jute B-T Will sacking bags must have the quality fixed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BSI) and Jute Commissioner will look after the procurement of jute bags after large scale corruption was spotted over manufacture of inferior quality bags.
Earlier Directorate of Quality Awareness under the Director General of Supplies and Disposal used to look after procurement of jute B-T Will sacking bags. Several state government sources had complained to the Textile ministry about the poor quality of bags and suggested that a multinational company should be entrusted to check the quality. The firm has been given the job to see the quality of the bags.
A senior official of the department said that for quite some time, the department had received complaints that a huge quantity of unmarked government B-T Will jute sacking bags were being siphoned off from the stocks sent to the consignees in Punjab and Haryana with connivance between some employees and the supplying jute mills. These bags were sent to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and sold out in the local markets. The office of the Jute Commissioner in Kolkata sent communications to the Commercial taxes department of Telangana informing that a lot of jute sacks which were meant for Punjab and Haryana had been diverted. The sacks were sold to the rice mills for packing rice.
The Commercial Tax department of Telangana on June 1, 2016 seized one truck containing 30,000 unmarked B-T Will jute bags at the border check post of Maharashtra and Telangana at Adilabad. On inquiry, it was found that those consignments were transported by M/s Dharmchand Satiskumar of Hissar, Haryana. It came up during investigation by the office of the Jute Commissioner in Kolkata that the alleged illegal trade and transactions were between some jute mills in West Bengal and the traders in Haryana and Punjab. It was found that there had been huge transaction of money between some Jute mills and Muralidhar Ratanlal Exports Limited.
On August 6, a team from the office of the Jute Commissioner visited a godown belonging to M/S Muralidhar Ratanlal Exports Limited at Ghusuri in Howrah. Huge stocks of plain new 50 Kg jute bags some with red stripes and some with blue stripes were found inside the godown. These bags were meant for government supplies. Huge numbers of bales of jute bags without any markings were found inside the godown.
Senior officials of Jute Commissioner’s office in the city said that vigil had been intensified and no compromise would be made with the quality of jute bags.