Indian Government approves polymer bags as an alternative to jute bags to package foodgrains
The COVID-19 related lockdown has affected the working in the jute mills thereby disrupting the production of jute bags. Textiles ministry on Tuesday said the move is aimed to protect the interest of the wheat farmers as the grains are likely to ready for packing mid-April onwards.
The government has allowed foodgrains to be packaged in bags made of polymer material due to closure of jute mills during the ongoing lockdown.
The COVID-19 related lockdown has affected the working in the jute mills thereby disrupting the production of jute bags.
Textiles ministry on Tuesday said the move is aimed to protect the interest of the wheat farmers as the grains are likely to ready for packing mid-April onwards.
However, the ministry stated that whenever the production of jute bags in jute mills resumes after the lock down period is over, priority will be given to the jute bags for packaging of food grains.
“The ministry of textiles has given dilution to the maximum permissible limit i.e. 1.80 lakh bales on March 26 and further for 0.82 lakh bales on April 6 for HDPE/PP bags to tide over the emergent crisis of packaging of foodgrains due to closure of jute mills during lock down and with a view to protect the produce of wheat farmers by providing them alternate packaging bags,” the ministry said in a statement.
The move is crucial as the rabi crop is about to be harvested and huge quantities of packaging bags are required. Food grains are primarily packed in jute sacking bags under the Jute Packaging Materials (JPM) Act. The government provides about 100% reservation for packaging of foodgrains in jute bags.
Due to COVID-19 lock down, jute mills are unable to produce jute bags, hence alternate arrangement is inevitable to avoid distress to wheat farmers.
The ministry has also written to the all jute growing state governments to allow movement, sale and supply of the jute seeds, fertilizers and other farming aids to help jute farmers during the lock down period.
Since jute millers are not in a position to cater to the requirements of the State Procurement Agencies (SPAs) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) who are engaged in the Public Distribution System (PDS), it said the “government is, therefore, constrained to proactively intervene and engage in trouble shooting by taking alternate measures”.
Source: This story first appeared in The Economic India Times News Feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.