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 Supporting legislation for jute packaging act confined to FCI
Kolkata: The implementation of the supporting legislation of Jute Packaging Materials (compulsory use in packing commodities) Act, 1987 (JPMA) is only confined to FCI and other state agencies for packing food grains and sugar since the enactment but not by other non-government private commodity dealers and industrial consumers, according to jute industry sources.
  Officially, the office of the jute commissioner (JC) is empowered by relevant provisions of the Act to oversee the implementation and take appropriate action to ensure full benefit of this protective legislation to the manufacturing jute mills and other concerned irrespective of government and non-government users of jute products in the entire country. But the provisions of the Act are only observed partly in reality.
   In a recent communication to the industry, the jute commissioner has understandably stated that his office is unable to ensure total implementation of the JPMA Act in about 300 sugar mills in the country due to inadequate manpower available to it.
  Against this, the industry has commented there are as many as 416 cement units including 300 mini plants and 43 fertilizer units and JCs office has issued show cause notices on 58 cement and 26 urea manufacturing (then included in the list compulsory jute packaging Act) units selected at random in August 2002, without any addition to manpower.
  Admittedly that no penal action could be taken against the defaulting cement and urea manufacturing units as the matter is still subjudice.
  The jute commissioner in August next year affirmed the transfer petition before the Supreme Court. If the JC could serve show cause notices to cement and fertilizer units then why not take similar action against the sugar mills/ rice mills/ wheat/ flour mills/ packers/ Pulses millers/ importers & exporters of food grains and take penal action against erring units. 
  The defaulting units could hardly be allowed to use poly bags by openly violating the provisions of the Act with impugnity. There is no reason why such action cannot be taken. In absence of appropriate vigilance to ensure compliance with the required provisions in the Act, the mandatory provisions are breached by the authorities themselves who have been empowered to arrest any aberration in the observance of the legislation.
Source: The Economic Times, Kolkata, 11.12.2007

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