West Bengal seeks time to respond to Centre on jute dilution

The West Bengal government has sought time to give its feedback that will help the Centre decide on the roadmap on further jute dilution.

“In the December 18 review meeting with the Ministry of Textiles, West Bengal had sought some more time to give its final feedback as raids and action for alleged hoarding of jute is going on,” Indian Jute Mills Association Chairman Manish Poddar said.

The Centre has proposed 4 lakh bales for dilution, apart from 1.34 lakh bales it had already notified.

State Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak is negotiating on behalf of West Bengal government with the ministry. A query sent to the minister did not elicit any response.

According to sources, the state Enforcement Department has already raided three jute mills out of 17 mills and is monitoring 48 traders.

Already, 12 jute mills are closed and 70,000 jute workers rendered jobless.
Raw jute crisis has led to the problem where the government s jute procurement plan for the forthcoming Rabi crop season up to March 2016 is going in favour of plastics as packaging material for food items.

“The government has already diluted 1.34 lakh bales or 10 per cent of the proposed 13.34 lakh bales in December 2015 April 2016 period. Moreover, after mills informed about shortage of supply, a proposal is being examined by the Ministry of Textiles and Food to dilute additional four lakh bales,” Jute Commissioner Subrata Gupta had said earlier.



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