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Jute Packaging order declared ‘infructuous’
Kolkata: The mandatory jute packaging materials order (JPMO) issued by the Union ministry of textiles under its F.No. 9/5/2007 dated August 9 has been declared ‘infructuous’ and carries no meaning at all for the jute sector. The order is in relation to the compulsory jute packaging by both foodgrain and sugar, according to industry sources. 
   Sources pointed out the normal procedure for issuing such official gazette notifications is under a statutory order (SO) number instead of a file number like the present one. The latest ministry order has fixed jute reservation norms at 100% for both food-grain and sugar with retrospective effect from August 9 or the date of publishing the notification for the jute year (2007-08) till June 30,2008.
  The previous gazette notification was issued under SO No. 1170 (E) also fixed the norms at the same rates for one year till June 30,2007 with retrospective effect from July 2006. Sources indicated the FCI and other food-grain producing states like Punjab and Haryana along with domestic sugar industry are often violating compulsory jute packaging order and using cheaper poly packs. There exists no effective official vigil on such violations, they added.
   Apart from ineffective notification, there exists another technical flaw in the latest official order: “Packaging in 100 kg or more shall be exempted from the purview of the order.” However, 100 kg A.Twill jute bags are stipulated for sugar industry packaging under the JPMO Act. This is again a drawback in the wording of the notification, sources added. 
  The Indian jute Mills Association Has already taken up the matter on behalf of the industry with the concerned ministry for necessary rectification in the interests of growers and the industry along with other functionaries in the jute sector. 
  Unless the JPMO is rectified and clarified in an orderly gazette notification, the sector would continue to be deprived of benefits and support intended by the Union government under the statutory compulsory Jute Packaging Act 1987.
 Source: The Economic Times, Kolkata, 28.08.2007

Compulsory packing of sugar, foodgrains in jute bags extended 

  New Delhi, Aug. 2 (PTI): To provide sustenance to the people engaged in the jute sector, the Government today extended compulsory packing of foodgrains and sugar in bags made of jute for another year till June 30, 2008. 
  For the Jute Year 2007-08 (July-June), foodgrains and sugar would have to be cent per cent packed in jute bags, with some exceptions, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. 
  The CCEA's decision is part of implementation of Jute Packaging Material Act, 1987 and National Jute Policy, 2005. In case of disruption in jute supplies, the Textile Ministry will be empowered to authorise user agencies to relax these provisions up to a maximum of 20 per cent for sugar and foodgrains, he said. 
  Small consumer packs of 25 kg and below, and exports packing in respect of foodgrains and sugar should be exempted from the operation of compulsory packing, the Finance Minister said. Packaging in 100 kg or more will be exempted from the purview of the compulsory packaging, Chidambaram said. Also, 'sugar fortified with vitamins' will be exempted from this decision, he said. 

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