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Jute production on wane on export fall

 
 

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan

The country’s jute production fell for third year to 74.36 lakh bales in 2013-14 season as sliding export hit the price of jute, discouraging farmers to cultivate the cash crop.
In 2010-11 season jute production had hit a record high of 84.60 lakh bales as the export of jute and jute products was recorded worth US$ 1.1 billion in the year, according to Department of Agriculture Extension and Export Promotion Bureau data. Agriculturists and jute experts said the jute growers had turned their arable lands for production of other crops including aus rice, maize and pulses in last three years as the price of jute fell on waning export.

DAE data showed that cultivation acreage of jute and production of the crop shrank every year in last three years after hitting records in 2010-11 season. Amid high price of jute fibres in local market, jute cultivation acreage had soared to 8.03 lakh hectares with a record production in 2010-11 from 4.56 hectares in 2009-10. But cultivation acreage came down to 6.66 lakh hectares in 2013-14 with falling price on the back of decline in export of jute and jute products. Jute cultivation season runs between March and September. Agriculturists and jute experts said that after years of struggle by jute mills in Bangladesh, millers started to gain in 2010-11 with growing global demand. But crises in Middle East and Arab spring movement in some countries including Algeria, Libya and Egypt and recent unrest in Thailand and Rupee depreciation in India had hit the Bangladesh jute export hard in last three years.


Officials said neighbouring India, which was a major controller of global jute market, slashed down import of raw jute from Bangladesh in recent months.


They, however, said although cultivation acreage and production of jute have fallen, per hectare production was found slightly rising due to extension of High Yielding Varieties and modern technologies among the growers. When asked, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council executive chairman Kamal Uddin told New Age on Monday that as demand of jute in overseas market reduced, there was no alternative to enforce the mandatory jute packaging act to increase domestic consumption of jute. He urged the government to immediately implement the mandatory jute packaging-2010 act through conducting mobile courts in the greater interest of jute growers, jute industries and above all for the country. Kamal Uddin, also former director general of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, said additional 15 lakh bales of jute would have to be used for making around 70 crore pieces of jute bags to be required for packaging products under the packaging act.

 

According to department of jute, the raw jute export has drastically fallen during the current year due to devaluation of rupee against dollar in India which was considered the largest raw jute importer from Bangladesh. According to statistics at jute department, some 22.85 lakh bales of raw jute were exported during 2011-12 fiscal year while 20.55 lakh bales of raw jute were exported during last 2012-13 fiscal year. But only 2.15 lakh bales of raw jute were exported till December 2, 2013, the statistics showed. Jute department officials assumed that export of jute would be reduced by more than 50 per cent during the current year compared with the amount of raw jute exported last year.

 

Source:

The New Age

12-03-2014

 

 

 

Govt to buy 20m gunny bags for food storage

 
 

Talha Bin Habib

The government will purchase 20 million gunny bags from public and private sources for storage of food grains, a high official said. With this end in view, the Directorate General of Food (DGoF), which is under the ministry of food, has started buying gunny bags from Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). So far it has bought 10 million bags from the state-owned BJMC out of 15 million. The price of each bag is fixed at Tk 69.  

The private sector will also supply 5.0 million bags. The DGoF is now evaluating their quotations. The rice and wheat procurement drives by the government sometime face problems due to not having gunny bags in time from the suppliers.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to double its ongoing Aman rice procurement target to 0.4 million tonnes from the original 0.2 million tonnes that prompted it to buy such bags.    

"We will be able to buy the estimated number of gunny bags since we are getting good response from the public and private sectors," a deputy director of the DGoF told the FE Sunday. Bangladesh is one of the top five rice producers in the world and produces about 34 million tonnes of rice annually.

Consecutive bumper harvests have made the country almost self-reliant in rice production this year, and local sources say that the government is increasing the storage space to help ensure food security.

According to government sources, Bangladesh is targeting to increase current food grain storage capacity of around 1.2-1.7 million tonnes to 2.0 million tonnes by 2015 and 3.0 million tonnes by 2020. According to the food directorate, Bangladesh's average annual demand for food grains - mainly wheat and rice - is about 35.0 million tonnes, in which rice shares 31.0 million tonnes.

The public food storage capacity has been enhanced to 1.8 million tonnes recently. The country's stock should be between 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes. Of this, rice should be 1.0 million tonnes.

And with the Aman procurement drive, public storage will increase, according to the food department.The present stock of food grains is 950,000 tonnes. Out of the quantity, 730,000 tonnes are rice and the rest wheat.

 

Source:

The Financial Express

10-03-2014

 

 

 

 
 

Sudden mill closure forces employees to stage protest

 
 

KANPUR: Hundreds of workers staged an agitation in front of JK Jute Mills Co. Ltd. in Sisamau area on Saturday after the mill was shut down on Saturday. The protestors blocked the road and shouted slogans the mill management's 'insensitive policy'.

 

Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the agitators from blocking the traffic movement on Kalpi Road. Three union leaders were also taken into custody. The agitators later called of their stir after senior police officials intervened in the matter.

 

Reacting on the sudden closure of the mill, the workers said they came to know about it on Saturday morning through a notice pasted at the main gates of the mill. "There was no prior information of the closure. On Saturday morning, the gate was found closed and a notice stating suspension of work was pasted," one of the agitating workers said.

 

The workers said the closure has affected around four hundred workers. "We have no other means of livelihood," said Raju Prasad, general secretary of the mill workers union. "We are undertaking this protest march to enlist public support for our right to livelihood," added P Vinod, spokesman for the workers. According to the mill workers, "Our dues are still pending and now the unit is also shut down," said another worker.

 

Source:

The Times of INDIA

09-03-2014

 

 

Manufacturing need-based jute products

 
 

Rahman Jahangir

 

The closure of 19 jute and spinning mills in the country in the last eight months, as reported by the FE, comes as a shock to the cause of the golden fibre.  This is attributed to falling demand overseas for its products. So far 16 jute spinning mills, out of a total of 95, and three jute mills, out of a total of 130, were forced to stop their production because of financial difficulties caused by a sharp drop in sales. The news comes when Bangladesh continues to make headway in its exports despite various domestic shocks.  Happily, many countries of the world have continued to provide duty-and quota-free access to many items for Bangladesh to seize the marketing opportunities. But sadly, there has not yet been any concerted effort to diversify the export products as per the duty-and quota-free lists. That is exactly why the country has not succeeded much in tapping the export potential of duty-free market access that has been made available to it by many bigger economies. The European Union (EU) member-states, Australia and Canada are among them.

 

Unfortunately jute has been one victim of such circumstances. Those who are associated with the golden fibre are not financially strong enough to explore foreign markets nor can they diversify their products as per demands abroad due to lack of policy-support. They only need some pro-active cooperation of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the country's embassies abroad as to what they should manufacture that the overseas buyers need for their regular uses. This is despite the fact that the development partners, now emphasising more on trade than aid, have, time and again, assured the country of their technical assistance for both diversification and exploration of products and their markets.

When it comes to jute, only jute bags and sacks come to the picture. But it should not be what jute really is. There are many other uses of jute not yet known in Bangladesh although the country's private sector has enough potential to seize the opportunities. Neighbouring India is providing all necessary support to jute product manufacturers in the field of production, marketing and sale of products through all its showrooms spread across the country. In South India, a fair was opened recently with a range of products. A jute painting was among the major attractions of the exhibition. They first do a digital painting and then put it on a jute base. The product has been of great demand, especially in the overseas market. The company has also been doing jute paintings on various themes and has even ventured into jute portrait paintings. Another start-up that was featured at the fair had come up with little organic bags that can be used to replace plastic bags to keep food products in the fridge.  

Innovation is the key. Entrepreneurs need to have an ear for the demands of the customers. For instance, when people were asked why they used so much plastic, a majority of them said it was for storing vegetables and fruits in the fridge. That is how they came up with the idea. A range of utility products including jute clocks, jute mirrors, jute storage bags, jute ornaments, pencil stands and a wide variety of fashion bags and clutches could be in high demand. One of the major highlights at the fair was the jute laptop bag, which has been ordered in bulk by major companies and universities.  Dissemination of vital info to jute mills owners and growers as to what they should do to get better prices brooks no delay. They need such assistance and they will surely march forward as others have done in cases with readymade garments and frozen foods.  

 

 

Source:

The Financial Express

09-03-2014

 

 

 

 

Country's jute, jute goods export earning falls by 30pc this fiscal

 
 

Badrul Ahsan

Country's jute and jute goods export decreased dramatically in the current fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 following depreciation of Indian rupee and sluggish demand in the world market, industry insiders said.
According to data available with the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the export earning declined by more than 30 per cent during the period. The country earned nearly US$592 million in July-January period of the current fiscals against US$646 million in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

Millers and exporters said the neighbouring India, that used to buy about 55-60 per cent of the total raw jute exports of Bangladesh, has cut the level of its imports from the country in the last few months, which accelerated the fall in jute exports. Iran, another raw jute importer, has also slashed buying jute due to economic sanctions imposed by the western countries, they added.

In addition, the prevailing sour relations with Pakistan and the instability in Syria and Egypt, which are traditionally jute and jute goods importers, have caused a decline in exports. "Demand for local jute and jute goods has drastically fallen in the world market in the current FY largely because of decline in export by India, the main importer of raw jute of Bangladesh," deputy managing director of Janata Jute Mills Ltd Mahmudul Huq told the FE.

 

According to him, India which alone imported about 8.9 lakh bales of raw jute in the last FY 2012-13, has imported only around 40,000 bales during the first seven months of the current FY 2013-14.

"Moreover, China, Vietnam and European countries - the other regular importers of local jute and jute goods have also imported in small-scale due to the recent volatile political situation." He said many of the millers were forced to cut down prices to retain their markets. They are also actively considering job cut in their mills to reduce overhead costs. "Buyers are offering lower prices of jute and jute goods amid decrease in demand. Sometimes, the importers are offering prices below the production cost," Mr Huq informed.

According to Mr Huq, at present, a tonne of jute yarn is selling at around $1,000, which was $1,100-1,150 in the previous financial year. However, many exporters blamed absence of modern machinery and lack of research and development (R&D) activities on jute goods for fall in actual growth of the sector. Besides, the recent political unrest in Bangladesh has also created shipment problems in exporting the finished jute goods, causing heavy financial losses in the jute sector, they informed.

However, in this situation, jute producers, processors and exporters demanded of the government to increase local consumption of jute by implementing immediately the Jute Packaging Act. "If the local demand increases then the production would also rise thus saving a large amount of foreign currencies as imports of plastic and synthetic goods would be reduced," a mill-owner said preferring anonymity.

India started mandatory use of jute since 1987. Though Bangladesh enacted the mandatory jute packaging act in 2010, the law is yet to be implemented, an official of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation told FE preferring anonymity. General Secretary of Bangladesh Jute Growers' Samity Harun-Ur Rashid said many farmers kept their goods stocked in warehouses as millers are now reluctant to buy jute following sluggish demand. "If the government fails to save the farmers then production might fall in the coming days," he added. Meanwhile, millers and exporters urged the government to explore new markets for jute exports immediately to save both the millers and growers. They said Lebanon, Thailand and some other countries recently showed interest to import jute and jute goods from Bangladesh where government's active initiative is very urgent.

 

Source:

The Financial Express

08-03-2014

 

 

Rice millers fear uneven competition with importers

 
 

Sohel Parvez

Local millers fear uneven competition in complying with mandatory packaging of rice by jute sacks as the government has kept imported rice out of the purview of the law.
"Currently rice is being imported in polyethylene bags which are much cheaper than jute sacks. Importers will be able to offer rice at lower prices if we alone have to pack rice in jute sacks," said KM Layek Ali, convenor of Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association.


The price of a jute sack is Tk 70 though it is Tk 13 only for a polyethylene (plastic) bag, he said.
"We will have to invest more to buy jute sacks. As a result, importers will have an edge over us," said Ali, who represents the platform of about 17,000 mills. From January 1, the government has made it mandatory for local millers and retailers to sell rice in jute sacks. However, there were no such instructions for importers. "The law should be binding on both millers and importers," Ali said. Meanwhile, rice imports are surging as wholesale prices are higher in Bangladesh than in India. Imports soared around sixteen-fold to 295,100 tonnes in July-February of fiscal 2013-14 from only 18,100 tonnes in the same period a year ago, according to the food ministry.


The private sector imported 80 percent of the rice, mainly from India. "Imported rice is coming in polyethylene bags. But maize and wheat are being imported in jute sacks," said Moinul Islam, an assistant commissioner at Benapole Customs, the main land port for trade with India.
"We have not received any instruction from the authorities whether rice should be imported in jute sacks," he said. Ali said local millers now purchase paddy in jute sacks but they are yet to start packing rice in bags made of the environment friendly fibre.

 

Source:

The Daily Star

05-03-2014

 

 

Govt push for plastic packing of foodgrains to hit jute mills

 

 
 

These are already losing Rs 2,000 crore a year

Jayajit Dash

The jute commissioner’s recommendation for the use of plastic bags to pack foodgrains for 10 months is set to affect the sector. It is, however, expected to help the food ministry, which can liquidate an inventory of 200,000 bales of plastic bags valued at Rs 202.7 crore with it.

The ministry had purchased the bags as a cushion against possible non–supply of jute bags for packing foodgrains in the rabi season of 2013-14.  Every month, 10 per cent of the stock would be liquidated.

“The mills are suffering due to the repeated dilution of the mandatory Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987. These have lost Rs 2,000 crore a year because of this. Around 50 per  cent of the mills are running at 70 per cent of their capacities,” said Sanjay Kajaria, managing director, Hastings Jute Mill and former chairman of Indian Jute Mills’ Association (IJMA).

Of the total projected demand of 2.5 million bales to pack foodgrains, the Centre had allowed dilution of up to 50 per cent. Even though the food ministry was okay with the dilution plan, the textiles ministry opposed it. “Plastic bags can only be used during emergencies, when there are no bags or short supply of jute bags. At present, there is no such situation and the jute industry has sufficient capacity to cater to the whole demand. There are also quality complaints against the plastic materials purchased,” P R Meena, deputy secretary at the textiles ministry had said, opposing the suggestion to use plastic bags.

The food ministry is accused of allegedly overestimating packaging demands for the rabi season of 2013-14 and had purchased 0.7 million bales of plastic bags worth around Rs 700 crore at the rate of Rs 10,000 a bale.

 

Recently, the food ministry prepared a note for the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, saying the market value of the bags were very small compared to their purchase cost as they are one-year old. The JPMA prohibits use of old bags of any variety. Only the jute bags manufactured during the year can be used for packing foodgrains. The food ministry had sought exemption under Section 16 of JPMA to use the left-over 200,000 bales of plastic bags.

According to the Jute Commissioner, the jute industry is passing through a critical phase as there is a 12 per cent fall in demand of jute bags, compared to the previous year. The industry has the capacity to manufacture and supply 3.3 million bales.Between April 2013 and February 2014, the government had placed orders for supply of 2.46 million bales. In 2012, the order was 2.8 million bales.

According to the food ministry’s assessment, the jute industry’s capacity to produce and supply is 2.5 million to three million bales, while the requirement varies between three million and four million bales.

 

Source:

The Business Standard

05-03-2014

 

 
 

Govt slow to enforce jute packaging law

 
 

Sohel Parvez

The government's intent to give a push to the ailing jute industry by making jute bags compulsory for rice packaging from January 1 appears to be lip service as of now, as the rule is yet to be applied in any form.“Exports have plummeted and the domestic demand is sluggish too. It would have helped if the compulsory packaging act was enforced,” said Humayun Khaled, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, whose exports of jute products in the first seven months of fiscal 2013-14 stood at 5 lakh tonnes, down 58.33 percent year-on-year.
In a bid to cushion the export-dependent industry against the vagaries of international trade, the government in 2010 framed the mandatory jute packaging law, which was made official later in October 2013. All rice millers and traders were instructed to clear their stock of plastic bags by December 31. But two months on, private sector businesses remain non-compliant—citing higher costs of jute sacks than poly-propylene or plastic bags—and the government is not cracking down on them either.

 

“What's the use of the law if it is not implemented even after four years? It is regretful that our next-door neighbour India enforced the law in 1987 but we in 2014 still cannot,” Khaled said.


Asked, Mohammed Kefayet Ullah, a director of the Department of Jute, said: “We could not utilise January and the preceding months for election and political turmoil to make the businesses aware of the law.” “We have tried to use February. We have started contacting the divisional commissioners to ensure compliance of the law,” he said, adding that the government will embark on a motivational campaign in March.But from April, a hard line stance will be taken on enforcement of the jute packaging act. “There is no alternative but to enforce the law to save the industry,” Abdul Barik Khan, secretary of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association, said quoting the group's chairman Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha as saying in a meeting held early last month.


The sector's downturn in fortunes, on which 150,000 factory workers and tens of thousands of farmers depend on for livelihood, started with the onset of crisis in Middle-East, a major region for the industry, and was later exacerbated by the depreciation of Indian rupee.
Export earnings from jute and jute goods stood at $466.17 million in the first seven months of fiscal 2013-14, down 21 percent year-on-year, according to Export Promotion Bureau. Some 20 jute mills have already suspended production, while the state-run BJMC is sitting on jute goods worth nearly Tk 700 crore and has dues of Tk 240 crore to jute suppliers.

 

Source:

The Daily Star

02-03-2014

 

 

19 jute-spinning mills shut in 8 months

 

 
 

Lower demand, price of items batter millers

 

Arafat Ara

The country's jute millers and spinners are passing a hard time following lower demand and prices of their products in overseas market as well as currency devaluation in India.
At least 19 jute mills and spinning mills were shut during the last eight months. Many others are about to face closure because of lower sales and prices of jute-made products in the international market, said sector insiders. So far 16 jute spinning mills, out of 95, and three jute mills, out of 130, were forced to stop their production because of financial difficulties, they said.

On the other hand, India has curbed import of jute goods following its currency devaluation.
Shabbir Yousuf, president of Bangladesh Jute Spinners' Association (BJSA), said the millers were forced to close their units due to poor sales. If such dull situation continues, many others will face the same fate. Bangladesh mainly exports jute yarn, jute sacks and bags to India, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Sudan. But most of these countries have been facing political unrest since long, which brought an adverse impact on Bangladesh jute sector, he said.

Syria is one of the largest markets for Bangladesh's jute yarn. It usually imports nearly 70,000 tonnes of yarn a year. But it imported only 7,000 tonnes in the last fiscal year following political turmoil, Mr Yousuf said. Besides, export of Bangladeshi jute yarn to India has recently reached almost zero-level. But the neighbouring country usually imports 55,000 tonnes of yarn each year.

Due to the US-imposed sanction against Iran, it cannot buy jute goods from Bangladesh. The Muslim state imports some 40,000 tonnes of yarn a year. The BJSA president also mentioned that the price of jute yarn has declined in the international market. Now jute yarn is selling at US$ 810-820 per tonne against its production cost of $ 950. Like the jute spinning mills, the jute mills are also facing the same adversity. Some three to four jute mills were closed recently, said Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) secretary Abdul Barik Khan. He said jute price has declined at least 17 per cent in the international market. At least three private jute mills have been declared laid off recently, while many others are about to face closure because of financial difficulties.

The closed mills are Mohsin Jute Mills and Ajax Jute Mill in Khulna, and Pubali Jute Mills in Ghorashal. The mills stopped their operations, as these were burdened with bank loans and piles of unsold products, said officials. Moreover, nearly half of the mills are now struggling to maintain their existence. If the government does not come forward, they cannot survive in the long run, said the BJMA secretary. He said the mills are facing various problems, as the demand of jute products has declined significantly in the international market due to world recession and political unrest in the Middle East. Besides, the prices of jute goods have fallen by 20 per cent. Domestic use of these environment-friendly products did not increase, as the Jute Packaging Act is yet to be implemented. He said since long they have been requesting the ministries concerned to implement the act and provide financial support, but they did not get proper response in this regard.

 

Source:

The Financial Express

01-03-2014

 

 

India to help develop textile, jute sectors

 
 

The Indian government has agreed to extend technical cooperation to Bangladesh in the textile and jute sectors."India has committed to provide technical assistance for improvement of our textiles and jute sectors," a senior official told the FE Thursday after the first meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) for cooperation in the textiles sector between Bangladesh and India held in Dhaka.

The meeting discussed different issues including import of raw cotton from India and keeping functional the International Jute Study Group (IJSG), established under the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the term of which expires on April 26 this year. At the meeting a 17-member Bangladeshi delegation was led by Shamsul Kibria, joint secretary of the ministry of textiles and jute while Sujit Gulati, joint secretary of the Indian textiles ministry, led the six-member Indian team.   

"We've agreed to continue the functions of IJSG but modality is yet to be finalised," the official explained.Talking to the FE, Feroz Ahmed, secretary general of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), said the BTMA members were interested to import 2.0 million bales of raw cotton from India under a special arrangement to avert any unwanted situation in future. The Indian government earlier promised to supply up to 2.0 million bales of raw cotton to Bangladesh in the 2013-14 cotton season, starting in October, even if a ban was imposed on such commodity export.

 

"The commerce ministries of both the countries are now working in this contention," the official said while replying to a query relating to the raw cotton import from India. He also said the JWC was now working to develop collaborations between the textile institutions of the two countries such as the skill building institutions, fashion institutes and research institutions.

"We expected that the next meeting of JWG will be held by the end of this calendar year in New Delhi," he noted. Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the textiles sector in New Delhi in August 2013 aiming to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

The MoU on textiles sector collaboration is a major trade facilitation mechanism and provides for collaboration in various areas such as fashion technology, skill exchange and productivity enhancement; collaboration for upgrading and enhancing production efficiency, management techniques and technical collaboration in development of textiles. Later, a JWC on textiles was formed as an institutional collaboration mechanism for speedy implementation of the MoU.

 

Source:

The Financial Express

28-02-2014

 

 

 

Infrastructure of jute mill sold for Rs 10.3m

 
 

BIRATNAGAR, FEB 26 -

The government has sold off the physical infrastructure of Biratnagar Jute Mill for Rs 10.3 million giving rise to criticism that it had been undervalued. The jute mill is the oldest industrial establishment in the country. The mill management committee auctioned the assets spread over 2 bighas and 5 katthas of land after getting the go-ahead from the Ministry of Industry.

 

Nirjala Chapagain of Namu VDC in Sankhuwasabha, who has been awarded the contract to demolish and remove the structures, has torn down the dispensary and health post in the first phase.

 

Critics of the sale accused the management committee of destroying the country’s historic property for the sake of commission. “The committee sold the property for peanuts lured by commission,” said Himal Sherpa, a campaigner opposing the deal. According to him, the historic property could have been saved if the committee had sold the mill’s property at Hartalihat instead.

 

However, Mahesh Hamal, secretary of the committee, said that the property was auctioned under the direction of the ministry. He added that a large part of the mill’s property was lying on private land.

 

Most of the mill’s properties including the main gate stood on land belonging to Uttim Lal Yadav which has been inherited by his son Surya Lal.  According to Hamal, the ministry had directed the committee to sell the infrastructure through a tender after the landowner

filed a complaint against the government seeking to repossess the land.

 

The committee had put the value of the land at Rs 5.1 million. Even though two bidders Kamala Subba and Bhim Thapa had offered Rs 11.1 million for the property, the committee decided to sell it to Chapagain for Rs 10.3 million. Hamal said that they had

 

followed all the due process as the lower bidders had a legal problem in their tender documents.

When the government acquired the land to build the mill, it had acquired around 5 katthas and 16 dhurs of Yadav too. However, Yadav was not compensated for his land although he was assured a rental. In 1959, when Yadav tried to sell his land, the mill filed a writ against him.  

The court ruled that the landowner could sell the land only to the mill and that it should pay appropriate rent for using it. As per the court’s order, the mill had been paying Yadav Rs 15,000 as rent annually till 1976. No payment was made after that.

 

Biratnagar Jute Mill, in which the government has a 46 percent stake with the rest of the shares being owned by the public, has been operating in fits and starts due to repeated political intervention. The mill resumed operations last month after the government handed it over to Binsom International Company of Kolkata under a 25-year lease. The company has agreed to pay Rs 13.5 million as rent to the government annually.

 

Source:

The Katmundu

27-02-2014

 

 

Ghana: COCOBOD to Produce Jute Sacks - President

 
 

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to enter into a strategic partnership to produce jute sacks in Ghana.This is expected to commence with the importation of jute fiber and sewing of the sacks locally.

.

This was disclosed yesterday by the president when he delivered his second state of the nation's address in parliament. According to him, the move will enable COCOBOD halt the importation of jute sacks and buy all its sacks from this factory. He also disclosed that he had directed the Board and Management of the Electricity Company of Ghana to encourage the local manufacture of electrical products like cables, transformers and meters. He said he has tasked the Minister of Trade and Industry to request the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund to extend assistance to local investors for increased production of poultry, rice, tomatoes, cooking oil, and fish.

 

President Mahama said financing has also been finalized for the construction of a new sugar processing plant in Komenda in the Central Region, adding that government was in discussion with a private sector investor to establish another sugar processing plant in the north near Savelugu. " I have also tasked the Minister to speak with the operators of flour mills and introduce incentives for production of composite flours that incorporate more local flour from products like cassava, maize and sorghum," he added. President Mahama hinted that work on the integrated bauxite and aluminium industry, including the revamping of VALCO would commence this year.

 

On education, President Mahama called for a nationwide support for the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service as they take steps to implement a programme aimed at an immediate and comprehensive redeployment and redistribution of teachers.

 

He also urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, as well as MPs and community leaders to take active part in the efforts to address issues of education at the district and community levels.He also hinted that government would before the end of this year, announce a formal process to convert ten of our polytechnics into Technical Universities.

He assured that "government will continue in its efforts to rebrand technical and vocational education and give it the important attention and support it deserves in the development of our nation. "

 

Source:

The All Africa

24-02-2014

 

 

Govt lacks interest in enforcing jute packaging law

 
 

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan

None of the six listed domestic products are packaged in jute bags in gross violation of the mandatory jute packaging law. The government made it mandatory to package rice, wheat, sugar, maize, pulses and fertilizers in jute bags and sacks from January 1.


There is no enforcement of the law enacted in October 2010. In June 2013, the government framed the rules detailing the use of jute bags and sacks for packaging the listed products.

 

In December, the home ministry included the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act in the schedule of offences cognizable for the mobile courts.    But all these are proving mere eyewash formalities with no sign that the government has any interest to enforce the much trumpeted law.


Jute growers feel that the declared objective to provide the due benefits to them was proving hollow.


Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation received not a single order to supply jute bags and sacks to the commercial users, said BJMC officials.The rice millers, potentially the largest users of jute sacks, continue to market the cereal in cheaper synthetic bags. Initially, about 21 lakh bales of raw jute would need to make 55 to 60 crore jute bags and sacks for packaging rice, wheat, sugar, maize, pulses and fertilizers, a senior   BJMC marketing official told New Age  Sunday. Non enforcement of the law benefits the synthetic bag industry, he said.


BJMC’s jute mills are ready to supply all the jute bags and sacks for packing the listed products, BJMC secretary ANM Al Firoz told New Age. BJMC had a long history of making quality jute bags and sacks that could be reused at least five times, he said. Jute bags are environment friendly, he said. Speedy enforcement of the ‘good law’ would immensely benefit the jute growers and boost the rural economy, he said. Jute Department is planning to start countrywide mobile court drives from early March to enforce the law, Jute Department director Mohammed Kefayet Ullah told New Age Sunday.

 

He said that mobile courts will raid all auto rice mills, wholesale outlets, fertilizer factories and sugar mills and warehouses to enforce the packaging law. All the deputy commissioners will be instructed at the next coordination meeting to get ready to start the mobile court drives, he added.


In 1987, neighbouring India enacted a law making it mandatory to use jute materials for packaging.

 

Source:

The New Age

17-02-2014

 
 

China becomes new market of Bangladeshi jute goods

 
 

Bangladesh for the first time exported jute goods in china, one of the major importers of the country’s raw jute. Bangladesh got the opportunity as the Chinese producers are losing interest in manufacturing jute goods due to high production cost. The production cost of jute goods has increased tremendously in China mainly because of increasing labour costs. Bangladesh jute goods’ exporters found the rising production as well as the labour cost as a boon that ushered a new opportunity for exporting jute goods, especially Hessian and jute bags in the Chinese market.

 

 ANM Al Firoz, secretary of state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) told The Independent that the BJMC for the first time sold out around Tk 5.5 crore (US$ 7 lakh) worth of hessian to a Chinese importer. Among 48 containers of hessain, eight containers have already been shipped out in last two months; Firoz said and hoped that export of rest of the containers will be completed by March 2014. In addition, the corporation also earned Tk 7.45 crore through exporting around 3000 bales of jute clothes to another Chinese importer, he noted.

 

Usually, China imports a large volume of raw jute from Bangladesh and India in order to produce different types of jute products like jute bag, sack, Hessian and other goods to meet its demands -- both local and global. But nowadays, the Chinese jute goods producers are facing difficulties in running their jute mills as the manufacturing cost of jute goods was significantly gone up mainly due to increase of labour cost and other relevant expenses, he said.

In China, The cost of manufacturing jute goods through imported raw jute is now greater than the cost of imported jute goods, he said. Consequently, to meet the local demand, the Chinese jute millers started to import jute goods directly from India and Bangladesh rather than importing raw jutes, the BJMC secretary said. Apart from exporting Hessian in china, there is also a great opportunity for exporting special kind of jute sacks, used to check soil erosion and increase fertility. China also experiences the phenomena of river erosion. “If we can make China aware about the benefit of jute sacks in terms of protecting soil from erosion, we will be able to export large volume of jute sacks in China,” he said. At present, India is the major player of exporting jute goods to China, he said.


“Although Bangladesh entered the Chinese market through exporting a negligible amount of jute goods, our main target is to capture the huge Chinese market for jute goods gradually,” Firoz pointed out. He also expressed the hope of strong footing in the Chinese market as the quality of Bangladeshi


jute was better than that of Indian one. “If we can capture the Chinese market properly, our export of jute goods will be increased in China to large scales,” he said adding, “one-day our capacity for producing jute goods could not be able to meet the demand of jute goods in China.”


Middle-east and some South African countries---Libya, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Sudan--- are the prime importers of Bangladeshi raw jute and jute goods, he said adding that the country’s raw jute and jute goods export were drastically fallen in last year due to mainly severe political unrest in those countries. “So, we have no alternative but to explore new destinations of raw jute and jute goods,” Firoz added.

 

 

Source:

The Independent

22-02-2014

 

 

 

Mandatory jute packaging a must to eliminate polythene

 
 

Poly bags, banned in Bangladesh, have, according to a report published last Friday in this paper, reappeared in full force. Environmentalists have attributed flooding of such harmful bags to lax enforcement of the ban and absence of cheaper alternatives for use. Despite the ban, about 300-350 factories in the capital city alone, as the report said, are producing such bags now used in almost all kitchen markets of Dhaka. On the other hand, the Department of Environment (DoE) has not been able to nab the culprits as it is running short of manpower and magistrates to enforce the law.

A few initiatives were taken to implement the ban imposed on polythene in January 2002. In January 2010, the DoE, however, allowed partial use of polythene bags for transporting fish fries, preserving mushrooms and packaging food items. Now the DoE conducts drives and realises fines from those found to be violating the restrictions. But such infrequent drives have proved ineffective to check production, marketing and sales of these bags. On the other hand, an environmentally friendly alternative is found to be costlier than polythene bags. The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), the parastatal entity, must devise ways and means to innovate cheaper jute bags not only to replace polythene but also to increase jute production acreage to meet the growing demands.  A jute bag costs between Taka 5.0 and Taka 10 whereas people can get polythene bags free of cost from vendors when they buy any grocery item.

The government took another laudable step when it enacted the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act in October 2010. But the rules required to enforce it have not yet been framed. The related piece of legislation is aimed at boosting the use of jute bags, instead of polythene or polypropylene ones, for packaging items like foodstuffs and agricultural produces. Hence, the absence of the rules has hindered implementation of the guidelines embodied in the Jute Policy 2011 for augmenting the use of environmentally friendly jute products at home and abroad. The government has increased the target of cultivation acreage of jute to promote its multifarious uses. According to the Jute Policy, 2011, around 13 per cent of the country's jute harvest is used domestically. The government had set a target of raising the domestic use of jute to 25 per cent over the next 10 years. If the law can be properly enforced, the domestic use of jute and jute goods will be substantially increased. In the process, this will facilitate ensuring cost-plus prices for jute growers. Initially, products like rice, wheat, sugar, seeds, fertilisers and saplings can be stocked in jute bags.

 

There must also be a systematic and well-coordinated mass awareness campaign by both the DoE and the Health Directorate about dangers associated with the use of polythene bags. Polythene or plastic bags are made of various chemicals known for toxicity. This is certainly harmful to health and environment. The chemicals used to make plastic bags are xylene, ethylene oxide and benzene. These toxic chemicals are sources of various diseases as well as disorders in humans. They not only provide negative effects on human and animal health, but also can pollute the air, too, harming other living organisms. Therefore, the need for creating wider public awareness of the hazards of the use of polythene or plastic bags can hardly be overemphasised.

 

Source:

The Financial Express

19-02-2014

 

 

20 jute mills shut for low demand

 
 

Sajjadur Rahman :

Around 20 jute mills were shut down in the last 7/8 months due to a depressed international market and currency devaluation in India, industry people said. Another major reason behind the closure of the factories that used to make sacks, bags and yarn is the government's failure to implement a packaging law for compulsory use of jute sacks to pack food grains and other items. The domestic demand would get a boost if the law was implemented properly, they said. “The current adverse situation has forced us to lay off workers temporarily,” said Kaihan N Rahman, deputy managing director of 40-year-old Pubali Jute Mills.

 

Pubali used to make mainly jute sacks and bags and export those to countries like India, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Sudan. Most of these markets have been facing political turmoil for months, while devaluation of the Indian currency has shrunk Bangladesh's exports of jute and jute goods there. “Our condition has worsened in the last 7/8 months. Many more factories will be closed down soon if the situation doesn't improve,” said Abdul Barik Khan, secretary of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA). According to BJMA, 5/6 jute mills, including Pubali, Mohsin Jute Mill and Ajax Jute Mills, were closed in the last several months. Khan said many mills are running partially and may be shut down anytime.

 

Bangladesh exported jute and jute goods worth $466 million during the July-January period of the current fiscal year, according to Export Promotion Bureau data. The earnings in the period declined by more than 21 percent year-on-year and fell 28 percent short of the target.


Exports of raw jute and jute sacks and bags plunged by a half so far this fiscal year. However, exports of jute yarn and twine that account for half of the country's total exports of jute and jute goods increased by nearly 6 percent during the first seven months till January this fiscal year.


“Sluggish demand in the international market, especially in India, has affected our exports,” said Gopi Kishon Sureka, managing director of Fiber n Fibre, an exporter of raw jute and jute products.


The fall of the Indian rupee has eroded Bangladesh's competitive advantage over the Indian exporters, he said.


There are 94 spinning mills in the country, of which around 15 were closed down in the last 7/8 months, according to Bangladesh Jute Spinners' Association. Many more mills are running below their capacity.


“Our situation is grave. The global demand has gone down, while production cost has increased,” said Shabbir Yusuf, president of the association. Yusuf said Syria was a big market for Bangladesh's jute yarn and used to import around 70,000 tonnes of yarn a year. But this market is totally off now because of the ongoing political unrest there, he said. Export to Iran that used to import around 40,000 tonnes of yarn a year from Bangladesh is also at a halt because of US sanctions against the country, he said.


However, industry players said the implementation of the mandatory packaging law could rescue the local millers by increasing demand in the domestic market. Though the law was passed in 2010, the government is yet to implement it mainly due to an absence of associated rules and regulations. But India, a strong competitor of Bangladeshi jute millers, implemented such a packaging law in 1987.

 

Source:

The Daily Star

19-02-2014

 

Govt lacks interest in enforcing jute packaging law

 
 

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan:

None of the six listed domestic products are packaged in jute bags in gross violation of the mandatory jute packaging law. The government made it mandatory to package rice, wheat, sugar, maize, pulses and fertilizers in jute bags and sacks from January 1.


There is no enforcement of the law enacted in October 2010.


In June 2013, the government framed the rules detailing the use of jute bags and sacks for packaging the listed products. In December, the home ministry included the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act in the schedule of offences cognizable for the mobile courts.   


But all these are proving mere eyewash formalities with no sign that the government has any interest to enforce the much trumpeted law. Jute growers feel that the declared objective to provide the due benefits to them was proving hollow. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation received not a single order to supply jute bags and sacks to the commercial users, said BJMC officials.The rice millers, potentially the largest users of jute sacks, continue to market the cereal in cheaper synthetic bags.Initially, about 21 lakh bales of raw jute would need to make 55 to 60 crore jute bags and sacks for packaging rice, wheat, sugar, maize, pulses and fertilizers, a senior   BJMC marketing official told New Age Sunday.

 

Non enforcement of the law benefits the synthetic bag industry, he said.
BJMC’s jute mills are ready to supply all the jute bags and sacks for packing the listed products, BJMC secretary ANM Al Firoz told New Age. BJMC had a long history of making quality jute bags and sacks that could be reused at least five times, he said. Jute bags are environment friendly, he said. Speedy enforcement of the ‘good law’ would immensely benefit the jute growers and boost the rural economy, he said. Jute Department is planning to start countrywide mobile court drives from early March to enforce the law, Jute Department director Mohammed Kefayet Ullah told New Age Sunday.

 

He said that mobile courts will raid all auto rice mills, wholesale outlets, fertilizer factories and sugar mills and warehouses to enforce the packaging law. All the deputy commissioners will be instructed at the next coordination meeting to get ready to start the mobile court drives, he added.


In 1987, neighbouring India enacted a law making it mandatory to use jute materials for packaging.

 

Source:

The New Age

17-02-2014

 

 

 

Govt to implement Mandatory Package Act, 2010 soon: Jute Minister

 
 

DHAKA: Minister for Textile and Jute Muhammad Imajuddin Pramanik today said that the government has a plan to implement the Mandatory Package Act, 2010 soon as it would help motivate the people in using jute goods. As the implementation of the act will help increase the internal use of jute goods, so we have taken a decision to create awareness among the people first on using the natural fiber like jute earlier to implement the act fully, said the minister.


The minister made this comment as the chief guest while he was inaugurating a daylong workshop as the chief guest at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) auditorium here this morning.The Department of Jute along with the Ministry of Textile and Jute jointly organized the programme. State Minister for Textile and Jute Mirza Azam and Textile and Jute Secretary Phoni Bhushon Chowdhury spoke as the special guests. About the implementation of the act, the minister said “the implementation of the act would create an additional internal

demand of jute by 15 lakh bales. So, we have to enhance the domestic production of jute through introducing the high yielding Jute variety,” the jute minister added. Meanwhile, the government is implementing a project for producing 9,300 tonnes of high yielding variety Jute seed by the period of 2016, said the minister, adding that these amount of jute seed also to be distributed among the jute farmers across the country for increasing jute production.


Chaired by Shamima Sultana, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Textile and Jute, the workshop also addressed, among others, by Chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) Major General (retd) Humayun Khaled, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) Dr M Kamaluddin as the guests of honors.

In the past, all the governments except the Awami League had involved in conspiracy on how to destroy the jute sector, but the present government is now trying to create a revolution in the jute sector, the minister told the workshop. A total of 26 Jute mills are being operated across the country under the BJMC and country’s per day jute production is around 700 tonnes.

Besides, Bangladesh is also exporting jute goods to some 80-90 countries in the world.


 

Source:

The Daily Sun

15-02-2014

 
 

National Jute Fair jam packed after excited crowd throngs it

 
 

 (ANI): Awestruck visitors thronged the National Jute Fair on Wednesday which is being held to promote jute products and to create a platform for marketing jute products by self help groups.

The fair is organised as part of the National Jute Board's (NJB) promotional activity and to create awareness among the general public regarding eco-friendly alternative products for use in home and offices. According to NJB officials, the Indian Jute sector, comprising jute mills and a large number of small units is the world's largest and biggest producer of raw jute and jute goods.

 

Entrepreneurs from different parts of the country are participating in this fair, exhibiting huge variety of environment friendly consumer products.The five-day long festival includes various events like exhibitions, interactive meets, buyers-sellers meet and live demonstrations.

Eco friendly jute dolls, fancy bags, shopping bags, gift items, wall hangings, home textiles, floor coverings are some of the products displayed at the fair

 

"Earlier, only white jute was available. There was no colour in it. Now the jute industry has developed and colourful jute is also available. Different things are being made with jute, including shoes, bags, fashion accessories, wallets, as well as nice bags made of cloth and jute. Jute industry is developing steadily. There is a lot of growth in this industry," said Purabi Bhuyan, a textile student. Nearly 20 stalls are participating in the fair from all over.

 

 

Several lifestyle jute products such as handicraft and handloom materials, dolls, fancy jute bags, shopping bags, gift articles, wall hangings, footwear, floor coverings and artificial jewelleries are on the display cum sale

 

Women and girls were seen splurging upon fancy handbags and shopping bags. Hand purses, wallets, pen stands and several handicraft products were purchased aplenty on the first day.

 

A Self Help Group (SHG) worker, Nubanu Begum, felt that the government should take some promote the Jute Industry.

 

"There is a lot of demand for jute products in Assam and other places in India. Production of jute takes place in Assam. The government gives training but it should hold more jute exhibitions to promote the jute industry as well as for its marketing", Begum said.

 

Assam produces large quantity of jute and the quality is best one with natural golden colour. The awareness about the demand of jute products are growing among SHG, and more people are getting attracted to work with Jute products. (ANI).

 

Source

SifyNews

12-02-2014

 

 

BJMC to launch mobile courts to enforce act

 
 

The authorities are contemplating launching mobile courts to implement the ‘Mandatory Jute Packaging Act’ to ensure packaging of foodstuff and agricultural products in jute packs.


The government had enacted the ‘Mandatory Jute Packaging Act’ in October 2010 to promote environment-friendly, biodegradable jute bags and discourage the use of polythene bags that are non-biodegradable and harmful to the environment. Polythene bags are also responsible for clogged drains and harmful for fish and other aquatic creatures, as well as for the soil. Mirza Azam, state minister for textiles and jute, recently told The Independent that they have directed the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) to implement the law. “The BJMC will take necessary steps, such as creating awareness among businessmen to popularise jute bags through advertisements and handbills, to implement the law. If the BJMC fails to implement the law within three months, mobile courts would start conducting drives against the violators,” he added.

 

BJMC chairman Maj. Gen. Humayun Khaled said they have already taken the initiative to implement the law, but the response has so far been very poor. “It's not possible to implement the law without mobile courts. We've already sent a letter to the ministry to hold mobile courts,” he added.


Replying to a query on shopping bags, the BJMC chairman said: “We've plans to produce packaging bags for foodstuff and agricultural products. We're capable of producing shopping bags from jute as we've 26 mills to help jute farmers get a fair price. If the government directs us, we'll be able to produce jute bags for kitchen markets.” Despite enacting a mandatory law four years ago on the use of jute bags, the authorities concerned are yet to implement the law, allegedly under pressure of certain business groups. The authorities have also failed to take the initiative to produce small jute shopping bags for kitchen markets, supermarkets, groceries and corner shops. The textiles and jute ministry on September 29, 2013, issued a circular stating that it is mandatory for private rice mill owners to use 100 per cent jute bags for packaging under the Jute Packaging Law.

 

As per the  circular, owners of rice mills, fertiliser factories and sugar mills are required to package their products in jute bags, instead of polythene or polypropylene bags. However, rice mill owners and factory authorities still use polythene or polypropylene bags to pack their products. The government has banned all kinds or any type of polythene shopping bag, or any other article made of polyethylene or polypropylene for manufacture, import, marketing, sale or demonstration purposes, and for sale, stocking, distribution, commercial carriage and commercial use under Section 6 (A) of the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995. The government, however, issued a circular in 2008 and allowed some businesses to produce polythene on a limited scale to package agro-items only.


But taking advantage of the circular, a section of unscrupulous businessmen is involved in producing polythene bags and is flooding the market with such bags, alleged Ziaul Haque, deputy director of the Department of Environment (DoE). “If the government implements the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act, the circular issued in 2008 will be withdrawn,” he added.

 

“It's very difficult to control the production of polythene bags. We don't have precise data on the number and addresses of polythene bag factories. We've to stop the use of polythene bags in phases. We can initially stop the use of polythene bags in big shopping malls across the country,” Haque said.


The circular, signed by joint secretary of textiles and jute ministry Nasima Begum, also instructed the food ministry for 100 per cent use of jute bags for packaging paddy, rice and wheat. Fertiliser factories, the Sugar and Food Corporation, as well as private sugar mills have also been directed to use jute bags for 50 per cent of their products.

 

Source

The Independent

11-02-2014

 

 

JUTE: Losing Lustre

 
 

The jute industry, one of the country’s traditional manufacturing sectors, has been going though a crucial time as exports of raw jute and jute goods are experiencing a downward trend.
A huge number of jute goods, particularly sacks, remained unsold in both public and private jute mills due to low demand in the world market and scanty use of jute goods in the domestic market. Exporters linked political turmoil in the Middle East, economic gloom in Europe and fears of global recession to sluggish demand for the natural fibre, the second biggest foreign currency earner after the apparel sector.


According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country earned US$ 416.46 million during the first half of current fiscal (2013-14) by exporting jute and jute goods as against $ 502.39 million during the same period in the previous fiscal. The earnings marked a decline of 17.10 percent. It also missed the target by about 23.37 percent.

 

The export of raw jute has been experiencing the downward trend over the last couple of years although exports of jute sacks, bags, yean and twine and some other jute products witnessing an upward trend. The falling trend of jute demands in international markets also cast some adverse impact in local markets. In spite of good crops, jute growers are also not getting fair prices for their produce. It is also because of the high cost of cultivation. Farmers in many places demanded immediate interference of the government to ensure legitimate price to the growers. Otherwise, experts apprehended that the farmers may turn back from jute cultivation which, in turn, may affect the national economy.

 

A recent meeting of jute millers and bankers focusing on present situation of jute sector expressed their grave concern over the situation and urged the government to help the farmers. Former textiles and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique who chaired the meeting said the prices of raw jute decreased mainly due to scarcity of money in the market. To overcome the crisis and encourage the farmers the then minister asked the country's state-owned banks to provide Tk 4.0 billion loan to jute sector to lessen the present crisis of the industry. The ministry proposed the four state-run banks to disburse Tk 1.0 billion each to the jute mills to keep smooth their operation. The minister urged the Bangladesh Bank to provide loan to the millers to keep the sector stable. To support the ailing jute sector the Bangladesh Bank in December last approved a Tk 100 crore refinancing scheme to ensure fair prices for jute farmers. Private jute mill owners and jute traders are eligible to receive loans from the fund at 8-9 percent interest rate.

 

Meanwhile, the central bank has increased the size of the fund to Tk 200 crore. The fund is being used mostly by members of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) requested the central bank to provide the entire Tk 2.0 billion to them under the scheme so that the sector could purchase the required raw materials.

 

“Although the state-owned jute mills got such assistance several times from the government, they did not get the same,” said Bagladesh Jute Assciatin secretary Abdul Kaiyum. Incidentally, the private jute and spinning mills contribute nearly 80 per cent to the total export earnings."Now there is no available fund for purchasing raw jute," said BJMA secretary Abdul Barik Khan. He said the association has set a target to procure 1.2 million bales of raw jute for the FY 2013-14. The private sector jute mills, according to sources, are passing through a crucial juncture mainly due to the recent political unrests, marked by frequent hartal, blockade, which have seriously affected productions in mills and factories. Finished products, industry sources said, are stockpiled in many of the mills. Some 52,000 jute bags and 82,000 tonns jute goods still remained stock pilled at various jute mills under BJMC.


According to industry sources, about four private jute mills have already closed down their operations and declared “lay-off” during the first three months (July-September) of current fiscal and many others are running following the same path because of the problems. Of the 130 members of BJMA, some 38 big mills contribute about 70 per cent of the production. Among the 38 big mills, eight have already been closed down, three laid off, 15 are occasionally operative and only 12 are in operations. They produce mostly the traditional items like hessian, sacking, CBC, and yarn/twin.


Besides EU and USA market, most of the products are exported to Middle Eastern countries and India and some other Asian African markets. But the political crises in Libya, Egypt and Syria and massive depreciation of the Indian rupee led the prices drop substantially over the past one year. The country is also likely to lose the new market at Thailand, for sacking and yarn, because of their political turmoil. 


Shahidul Karim, secretary of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA), a platform of private jute yearns and twines manufacturers and exporters; told The Independent that production in the country’s jute industry at present is overflowed. “Nowadays, the world demand for jute goods is around nine lakh tonnes as against our supply of about eight lakh tonnes,” Karim noted. India produces some 17 lakh tons as against their domestic consumption of 15 lakh tonnes. Most of the mills, industry sources said, are suffering from inadequate fund for procurement of raw jute. Banks, in some cases, were reluctant to provide funds in advance since most jute mills had defaulted on earlier loans. Often time’s mills were found to be having a tough time repaying their debts because of lack of required net income from their current transactions. Because of the huge debt burden, majority of the mills were in a financially weak position.

 

Source

The Independent

09-02-2014

 

 

 
 

Jute goods worth 3.84b lying unsold in 9 Khulna jute mills

 
 

KHULNA, Feb 8: The export of produced jute goods has been halted from 9 state-run jute mills of Khulna region and the goods remain stockpiled in the warehouses of the mills. The normal export has fallen during the last 3 months due to political unrest. As a result the produced jute goods of about 41,021 metric tonnes worth Tk 3.84 billion has been laying unsold in different warehouses of the mills.  

The mills are facing severe financial crisis as the produced jute goods are not exported. Officials said that they could not purchase raw materials due to financial crisis. The officials also anticipate that the production would be suspended within 15/20 days if the finance is not arranged. Moreover, some jute mills are not able to pay the wages of their workers and one shift is to be shut down to reduce production.    

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) regional office source said that 41,021 metric tonne
s produced jute goods has been laying unsold in 9 jute mills of Khulna region till Februay-5.

 

Source

Financial Express

09-02-2014

 

 

Diversified use of jute

 

 
  Jute scientists in Bangladesh have stated that they are working to develop a special jute variety that can replace cotton for fabric manufacturing. They will, as they have further noted, use genome sequencing of jute in developing the special varieties of the golden fibre. A recent report in the media says the local jute variety which is known for producing soft and quality fibre could be easily blended with cotton. The potential for uses of jute was explained at a recent media briefing by a professor of microbiology at Hawaii University, who led a group of Bangladeshi scientists in sequencing the genome of local jute variety.

At the news briefing, the scientists showed sarees and fabrics for making shirts and other clothes, made of jute fibre as well as by blending jute and cotton fibres. In fact, Bangladesh scientists sequenced tosha jute's genome two years back and sequenced local jute variety's genome only recently. The snow-white variety of jute, used for producing fibre for textile industry, was otherwise prone to the fungus attack. But the scientists also genome-sequenced the fungus. This will facilitate development of the fungus-resistant snow-white jute variety and help lower the volume of cotton imports for the textile industry.

Meantime, the rise in the government's target of jute cultivation acreage for this season, reports say, bodes well for the sector, as a whole. The increased target is attributable to the trend of gradual increase in local and international demand for the Bangladesh jute and jute-goods because of their environment-friendly traits.

Moreover, the government has a plan to raise domestic uses of jute to 25 per cent in the next 10 years from, according to the jute policy 2011, the current rate of around 13 per cent. Additionally, 25 jute mills, out of a total of 27 across the country, are now in operation. Most importantly, the government has already approved a law intended to ensure mandatory use of jute packets in the country which, if implemented, can result in widespread rise in the domestic uses of jute. Jute had been the principal cash crop for farmers at large for long even after independence, while jute industries that once dominated the industrial sector had provided employment to thousands of people for decades. Regrettably, however, disaster struck the jute sector, due to the wrong policies, both industrial and agriculture, as were pursued by successive governments, especially since 1980s, allegedly following prescriptions by international lending agencies.

On the one hand, the state-owned enterprises (SoEs) in the jute sector were held responsible for a huge amount of losses on a cumulative basis over the years and successive governments carried out denationalisation of such SoEs which ended up in the closure of many mills. On the other, as its inevitable adverse effect, jute cultivation declined by a huge percentage in the subsequent years. The loss mentioned earlier was because of an enormous challenge, posed by synthetic materials' gaining popularity around the world during the period, to jute fibre. There is, however, no denying the fact that rampant mismanagement, corruption and irregularities on the part of the state-run jute corporation, were also significantly responsible for their facing financial straits.

In the process, the country has failed to tap the enormous potential of environment-friendly jute and jute goods in the international market. When jute and jute goods are driving out plastic and synthetic products on environmental grounds, the country's jute industry has been on the verge of decay. But most interestingly, the jute industry in India has then been thriving mainly on jute supplies from Bangladesh.

When the government of Bangladesh was privatising or shutting down jute mills, the state government of West Bengal in India was seen taking up a gigantic project to set up new jute mills by investing Rs 100 billion. All these mills are reportedly operating now on profits. The flawed policy of, and non-cooperation by, successive governments, were mainly responsible for the dismal state of affairs in the country's jute sector. The nationalisation of jute mills made the situation all the more tough and challenging to the sector. Most of the 'nationalised' jute mills went out of production for lack of jute.

According to an estimate, 30 per cent of the losses in the country's jute sector is caused by power shortage and another 30 per cent is attributed to high interest charges on bank credits. The jute sector itself is responsible only for another 30 per cent of such losses. In order to ensure a balanced jute policy, privatisation of public sector mills is a sort of solution to help avoid widespread loss in the sector.

The country's jute industries are maintaining their operations, mostly with outdated technology. This has resulted in low productivity and high material costs for production. It is time for Bangladesh to adopt a technological profile to meet the present-day techno-economic needs. As a by-product of jute, jute geo-textiles have immense potential, both in domestic and international markets, as jute possesses much more advantages than the synthetic fibres. It is now widely used in controlling soil erosion of roadsides, riverbanks and hillsides. India is using jute geo-textiles for construction of its national roads. This could likewise be used in road construction to a large extent in Bangladesh. It is biodegradable and will not spoil the nutrition of soil.

On its part, the government now needs to go for snow-white jute cultivation on a large scale to save foreign currency spent on imports of cotton. The main objective of the ongoing research is to replace cotton with jute fibre. The jute researchers said that the annual demand for jute would immediately increase by 1.5 million bales for various domestic uses once the Jute Packaging Act was enforced. Using jute's genome sequencing, it would be possible to develop jute varieties that are capable of withstanding hostile weather and diseases.

Diversified uses of jute will certainly help the revival of the jute sector. This will, in future, help also to rejuvenate the rural economy, directly and indirectly. With the golden days of jute sector now tending to reappear, the government and the private sector need to continue making their concerted efforts for increased domestic production of quality jute fibre and jute goods and also for boosting their exports.       

           

Source

Financial Express

06-02-2014

 

 

 

Trend of jute conference bags catching up

 
 

Nagpur, Jan 29 (KNN)  Environment friendly jute bags are catching up with organisers of business conferences and seminars throwing opportunities for craftsmen and artisans engaged in the processing and finishing of the natural fibre.

Whether in Mumbai, Delhi or other big cities, regular conference organisers such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and FISME have all started larger use of jute bags, files, folders and pouches.
 
In fact, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India has called for bids for about 8000 jute conference bags for use at an agricultural fair - Krishi Vasant 2014 in Nagpur next month.

Considered the golden fibre, jute is a natural versatile fibre which is 100 per cent bio-degradable and thus environment friendly. It has a silky lustre with high tensile strength and low extensibility.
 
It is now being extensively used in packaging, textiles and non-textile sectors. In India, it provides employment to a large number of people, contributing to sustainable human development especially in the rural areas.

 

Today, there are a number of jute mills and mini-jute plants engaged in a big way in production of jute and jute blended yarns, and are used in value added textile applications like upholstery, furnishing, garments, fancy bags, shopping bags, corporate bags, wine bottle bags, Christmas and other festive bags.   (KNN/ES)

 

Source

KNN Bureau

29-01-2014

 
 

Jute industry faces CCI flak for price rigging, cartelization

 
 

Commission wants sugar industry to be freed from mandatory jute packaging

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has indicted the jute industry for cartelising and manipulating prices of jute bags unjustifiably. In the final investigation report, running into around 7,000 pages, the director general, CCI has pulled up the jute industry for violating anti-monopoly provisions of Section 3 (3) (a) of the Competition Act of 2002.

 

The jute industry has been given time to reply orally latest by February 20 2014, failing which it will be fined and penalised by the Commission and legal action will be initiated. CCI had earlier fined the cement sector heavily for violating anti-monopoly provisions.

 

In another blow to the jute industry, CCI has recommended freeing the sugar industry from mandatory purchase of jute bags, without naming the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987. This is in line with the suggestions already made by a sugar panel led by C Rangarajan, chief economic advisor, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC). The cement and fertilizer sectors were exempted from mandatory use of jute bags in 1998 and 2001 respectively.

 

On August 2 2011, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), All India Flat Tape Manufacturers Association (AIFTMA) and National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) had petitioned the Commission against Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) and Gunny Trades Association (GTA), alleging rigging of jute bag prices. The Union textiles ministry and the Jute Commissioner's office had been exempted from the investigation as they do not fix the prices of A twill bags that are sold in the open market for purchase by the sugar industry.

 

The director general (DG), CCI has found prima facie evidence on the allegations and undertook investigation against IJMA and GTA under Section 26 (1) of the CCI Act of 2002. According to the investigation report, IJMA had connived in every step with GTA to arbitrarily fix the prices of A twill bags indulging in unfair practices to rule the market. Almost 30 of the 34 members of the GTA were found to be IJMA members directly influencing GTA prices. The Commission had also received documents to prove that GTA had been allegedly influenced by IJMA members.

 

"We will challenge the arguments contained in the report as it is based on pre-conceived notions. The report does not provide any proof of our direct involvement," said a leading jute mill owner.



The report says prices were manoeuvred between GTA and IJMA to set the benchmark prices for trading of jute bags.

 

 

Source

The Business Standard

02-02-2014

 

 

Jute: Drawing attention of the policymakers

 
 

[ The policymakers of the new government would do very well if they  get down to  earnest work from the early days of their incumbency to  harnessing the potentials of our ‘golden’ fiber ]

 

A number of factors is driving up the demand for jute and jute products worldwide. First of all, more and more countries are leaning towards jute as environment-friendly . Jute is also proving to be competitive against its synthetic substitutes. The use of jute for the making of a far larger number of what are  perceived to be  environmentally  safe products compared to the synthetically  produced ones, is also creating greater international demand for jute. Thus, Bangladesh as the  biggest lone producer of jute both in  quantity and quality, can  exploit  the new situation by  exporting   greater amounts of raw jute and jute-based products. Specially,  new and diversified use of jute should be attempted.

 

The recent  mapping of the genome of the  jute seed by several Bangladeshi scientists working in collaboration,  has opened up a new horizon for the jute sector. If this research breakthrough can be properly exploited, the same should lead to substantial increases in the production of raw jute of  better quality. The country presently produces some 5 million bales of jute on average annually. But even in the Pakistan era  in the absence of research and  planned production some 7 million bales used to be produced. Therefore, powered by this new technology there is no reason why the farmers here would not be able to produce  well surpassing 7 million bales.

 

The higher production would make a lot of sense  as the demand for jute is rising both locally as well as  internationally and the prices are good. The higher production of jute would be only meeting the higher  demand. Government in Bangladesh should make law to ensure compulsory use of jute as packaging materials. That would lead to a significant push up in the demand for jute internally. Externally, the demand  for the golden fiber is already higher than in the past and this demand appears likely to reach an even higher level in the  backdrop of the climbing worldwide demand for biodegradable products for environmental reasons. Thus, there are  opportunities to earn greater foreign currencies by  exporting more raw jute and jute products.

 

As it is, Bangladeshi scientists have already created a number of jute products such as jute matting for uses in road building and embankments,  jute cloth, jute fibre, upholsteries, car parts, etc. Some of these products are already being made and exported in limited quantities   from Bangladesh. There are no reasons why greater quantities  of these products cannot be made for exporting in greater volumes to earn a great deal more in foreign currencies.

 

Thus, from the above it should become clear that  plenty of uses of jute are awaiting to fetch handsome returns. Entrepreneurs in the field remain at last partly constrained from not having enough locally produced  jute. Growers also have been holding back from producing more from not knowing whether production increases would be rewarded with good prices. The new technology available can contribute significantly to  solving  these problems.

 

First of all, it should be possible now to extend  jute cultivation to marginal lands or ones not considered fit for its cultivation  such  as drought stricken  or salinity affected areas. The mapping of the jute seed  genome will  enable ample production of  jute even in such naturally handicapped areas. Besides, healthier  jute plants with bigger stalks or output will be possible in normal areas.

 

Cumulatively, using this technology farmers would be in a position to grow substantially increased output of jute. The strong demand for the primary produce for uses in different industries both inside and outside the country, could mean that farmers will have no difficulty in disposing off their produced stocks at remunerative prices. Thus, from the farmers to users in different industries, traders and other associated with the processes, all stand a chance of making gains from greater production of jute and its diverse uses.

 

Government only has to play a proper steering role to enable  proper developments in this sector  with its helpful policies. Specially, government should ensure that farmers do use the new technology and remain motivated to engage in stepped up jute cultivation. To that end everything must be done to ensure gainful prices for farmers.  On the other hand, emerging jute industries should be aided with appropriate fiscal, financial and technical assistance.


Diversified  uses of jute have long awaited commercial exploitation . The traditional uses of jute as packing materials declined after the invention of synthetic materials. However, there are jute mills in India which  ran  competitively and earned foreign currencies from  producing traditional packing materials such as hessian and jute bags.
Why Bangladeshi mills  did  not succeed in a similar manner needs to be traced down for taking corrective steps. Experts say, there are opportunities for cost cutting and attainment of operational efficiency in the production processes of jute mills in Bangladesh. Such steps were neglected. But if these steps are now taken with sincerity, then there will be every reason for the jute mills  not only to run profitably but also regain the country’s position as the biggest  exporter   of  traditional jute products.

 

Many countries have imposed ban on polythene use  out of environmental concern. Most of the major global cereal producing and exporting  countries have been using jute-sacking bags instead of synthetic bags.  These developments have created soaring demand for the traditional jute products like  hessian and jute bags.  Bangladeshi  jute mills geared to producing such traditional products need to be  fully readied to meet such increasing demand.

 

Meanwhile, very exciting prospects are there for new jute-based products. More than a decade ago it was reported that paper mills in Bangladesh would be using green jute plants to produce pulp and paper. But since then, the move in this direction surprisingly lost momentum. Jute is recognized as one of the superior category raw materials to produce paper. More significantly, Bangladesh can also probably turn out to be a major exporter of pulp and paper in the international market by producing the same from green jute plants. Recently, some newspaper reports were noted about experimental ventures being again made to produce pulp and paper from jute plants. The progress was also stated to be encouraging.

 

One would only hope that these projects like the previous ones would not die down. The determination must be there to press ahead with these projects to start producing pulp and paper from jute. It is  regrettable that this country  spends precious foreign currency in importing huge quantities of paper, including newsprint and other types of  quality paper, when it can save the entire amount and improve its balance of payments position by producing and meeting all its demands for paper at home by utilizing jute. More significantly, Bangladesh can also probably turn out to be a major exporter of  pulp and paper in the international market by producing  the same from green jute plants.

 

Years ago, jute's uses as jute-plastic, yarn for cloth making, as cloth for upholsteries in cars and furniture and for matting embankments, were invented. The prospects for greater use of jute products have brightened worldwide as manufacturers are increasingly searching for environment friendly and biodegradable products to replace synthetic products which are now considered as environmentally unsound.

 

Private entrepreneurs, on their own, should have worked on these inventions to turn those into commercial ventures. But private entrepreneurs in many cases are found not interested to invest in research and development. Therefore, it is imperative for the relevant ministries to promote the production of  new jute-based products by engaging in dialogue with the private sector both at home and abroad.

 

Under the WTO guidelines, the use of synthetic fibers could be prohibited worldwide and opportunities could be  further created for the use of natural fibers instead.Much prospects could be created, thus, for the use of jute products in the automobile industry. But the opportunities can be exploited only with sound plans and their implementation.


 

Source

The Independent 

01-02-2014

 

 

 

Price hike of jute bags hits Tariff Commission's wall

 
 

According to the Commission's report, the 'fair price' of jute falls between Rs 54819 and Rs 55481 per tone

 

The jute industry's long standing demand to revise prices of jute bags has got a setback with the Tariff Commission either rejecting most of the demands or calling for a fresh review.

 

 The commission was set up to determine the fair price of 50 kg B twill jute bags used by government procurement agencies for packing food grains and sugar.

 

The industry had sought a 'fair price' for jute bags based on the revised calculation of salary and wages of the workers, interest rates and price adjustment formula, use of jute batching oil, raw jute and productivity norms. According to the Commission's report, the 'fair price' of jute falls between Rs 54819 and Rs 55481 per tonne. As per industry records, the current government price of jute bags is Rs 56565 a tonne in January and is expected to touch Rs 58355 a tonne in February. Since the prices are fairly higher than the 'fair price' demanded and worked out by the Commission, most of industry's demands have been rejected. 

 

Jute bag prices were fixed in 2001 by an independent Tariff Commission. In 1997, the government constituted an independent Tariff Commission under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to study tariff formulas for different commodities.

 

In 2003 and 2007, two fresh studies were conducted to revise the prices. The Union textiles ministry rejected both studies. The Commission placed its last report on jute in June 2009. In 2010, the ministry requested the Commission to conduct a fresh study to fix a fair price for B twill jute bags. 

 

The Commission submitted its fourth report in September 2013.  The Jute Commissioner's office pointed out lapses in the report and once again requested the Commission to re-work it. 

 

Based on the request, a supplementary report has been submitted by the Commission this month. The supplementary report elaborately dealt on issues raised by the Jute Commissioner's office.  

 

The report used a sample of 22 jute mills dividing those under two sections; top performing quartile mills and top half performing quartile mills. The assessed efficiency norms for all sections in the jute mills were taken into consideration before fixing the formula. 

 

The Commission took into consideration the actual cost of production of the industry in 2007-08 and other normative parameters and updated prices till March 2013. "We are opposed to the observation. The operations of poorly performing functioning mills were not taken into consideration before fixing the formula. The National Jute Board's productivity norms were partially used. Half of our demands were not considered while calculating the formula," said a jute mill owner.

 

There are 67 operating jute mills of which 54 are in West Bengal. Twenty eight mills are under Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

 

Source

The Business Standard

31-01-2014

 

 

Made-in-Jail products of Bihar find markets

 
 

Experiment is being replicated in across the state

 

Patna: Delhi’s Tihar Jail set the trend more than a decade and a half ago. Now, jute products, soft toys and decorative candles made by the women inmates of a Bihar jail are in great demand in the country’s big markets and abroad, particularly in the Gulf countries, says the NGO behind the effort.

 

The experiment is being replicated in many other jails across the state. Mili Singh, Juhi and Deepmala Devi, three of 75 inmates of Bhagalpur’s Shaheed Jubba Sahani Central Jail, 150 kilometres from here, are happy that they are earning money — many make Rs3,000-plus a month — by fabricating different jute products and other items and saving enough for the future.

 

“The products made by them are in high demand in posh markets in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Dehradun and Patna, among other cities, as also in the Gulf, particularly in Dubai, in Egypt and Yemen,” Shabana Dawood, secretary of NGO Fateh Help Society that helps them make the products and markets them in the country and abroad, said over the telephone from Bhagalpur.

 

“We first provided skill training to all inmates and encouraged them to make innovative products. They have the talent and the will to make a difference,” she added. Among the jute products being made are bags, purses, conference kitbags, water bottle covers, purses for mobile phones and soft toys, apart from decorative candles and chocolate.

 

Dawood said that most of the women inmates have accounts with the nationalised Bank of India.“Thanks to the high demand for their products and regular orders, each woman inmate is earning Rs3,000 per month and some even more,” she said, adding: “The demand for the products is increasing day by day as they are reasonably priced and durable.”

 

A website was launched last year for marketing purposes and the products are also made available online. The jail authorities are now planning to engage male inmates in similar tasks. “We have prepared a detail project to also engage male inmates like the women are,” jail superintendent Kailashpat Pingua said.

 

Thirty-two of the women inmates are lifers and are “fruitfully engaged in tasks that have changed their lives inside the jail”, Pingua said, adding: “It is a big and positive development as the women inmates would not have to worry about their livelihood after serving their terms.”

 

Inmates in other jails across Bihar are also engaged spinning, weaving (powerlooms/ handlooms), carpentry and other tasks. A garden umbrella and swing produced at Buxar jail are not made in any other jail in the country. The rope used for hanging death-row convicts across the country is also produced by the inmates of Buxar jail.

 

Women inmates of Muzaffarpur jail make “Kabuli chappals” and other leather goods like shoes, sandals and belts for policemen. The inmates of Gaya jail are known for skills in pottery-making and sculpting terracotta figurines and other art objects.

There are 56 jails, including eight central prisons, in Bihar.

 

Source

The Galfnews

30-01-2014

 

 

Jute strike on February 12

 
 

Leading trade unions of the jute industry will go on one-day token strike in mills on February 12 to press for their demands, the National Union of Jute Workers said today.

"All 20 active jute trade unions have agreed for the one- day strike on February 12 and we have already served notice today," union's General Secretary Ganesh Sarkar told PTI.

 

"If the government and mill management do not address our concerns we will resort to indefinite strike. The wage agreement is due since February 2013," he said.  Trade unions were mainly pressing for wage hike. The last 61-day industry-wide strike took place from December 14 in 2009 to Feburary 13, 2010.

Though trade unions backed by INTUC, CITU, AITUC, BMS and some others have joined the strike, the Trinamool Congress- backed trade union has declined to extend support, Sarkar said.

 

The unions claimed the Trinamool Congress trade union does not have any significant presence and impact on jute sector and hence it will be a total shut down of jute mills.  The strike holds significance as the Mamata Banerjee-led government is totally against any bandhs and strike.

 

The state government was set to achieve a target of 'zero man days lost' within 2014 after already brought down the figures to 5,000 from 65 lakh man days lost, two years back.

 

The Indian Jute Mills Association said that strike may put the industry in jeopardy which is already facing dwindling business after dilution of the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act.

 

"The industry has a capacity to produce 4.6 lakh bales of jute bags while the order is between 1.22 lakh bales and 0.27 lakh bales," jute industry veteran Sajay Kajaria said.

"The strike will ruin the industry further. Both farmers and workers would lose interest and would search other avenues for earning. The worst-affected would be the 40 million farmers who would not sow the crop from March in 15 districts of West Bengal," he said.

 

The jute industry employ almost 2.53 lakh workers directly and an additional 1.6 lakh as allied regions.

 

Source

The Business Standard

28-01-2014

 
 

Food Ministry belies jute industry's claims on demand overestimation

 
 

The Union food ministry has belied the jute industry’s claim that overestimation was done to accommodate purchase of plastic bags replacing jute bags in the rabi marketing season (RMS) of 2013-14. The ministry had decided to reuse leftover plastic bags purchased during the last RMS in the current year. The Central government, however, had shot down the decision on complaints from the jute industry that it was beyond rule and the ministry had done an overestimation on demand for the jute bags.

“The estimation on the requirement of packing materials, including plastic bags, was done in 'full consultation’ with various stakeholders, including representatives of the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), and all were aware of the purchase,” R K Vashisht, under secretary, food ministry, said in a letter to the government.

 

According to the ministry, purchase of plastic bags had been a ''fall-back option” and jute bags always received the priority. This is the second occasion that the jute industry has been caught on the wrong foot. Earlier, the Jute Commissioner accused the jute industry for diverting jute bags meant for supply to government agencies in the open market at higher prices.

 

The sugar industry had already dragged the jute industry before the Competition Commission of India (CCI), alleging manipulation, cartelisation and rigging of prices. According to Jute Packing Materials Act (JPMA), 1987, food grains and sugar produced in the country are to be compulsorily packed in jute bags. The Act allows an exemption of 30% for packing in other materials if jute bags are not available.

On November 28 last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) decided on a further exemption and decided that 10 and 80 per cent plastic bags (high density polyethylene HDPE /polypropylene PP) would be used in 2013-14 for packing food grains and sugar.

 

As per estimates, the industry has the maximum capacity to produce around 1.2 million tonne of jute bags, while the total requirement would be more than 1.7 million tonne. The jute industry has challenged the position pointing out it has an installed capacity to produce 1.5 million tonne.

The Food ministry had decided to reuse left-over plastic bags purchased for RMS 2013-14 and the textile ministry had shot down the proposal after complaints from the jute industry. There are no rules in JPMA that prevents the food ministry from reusing packaging materials.

 

Source

The Business Standard

23-01-2014

 

 

 

Headache for jute

 
 

Calcutta: Orders for jute bags to pack the winter harvest are far short of initial projections, with government food procurement agencies reducing their requirements.

 

The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) today said that the prospects of the industry in the coming three months — February, March and April — when jute bags would be produced for packaging of procured Rabi (winter) crops had “never been as bad”.

 

“Against the jute industry’s capacity of 3 lakh bales monthly, the total projected requirement by the government in the three months is only 1.91 lakh bales,” IJMA today said in a statement.

 

The association pointed to the closure of mills and drastic production cuts because of a demand gap. “Already 50,000 workers are jobless and if the situation continues, there would be block closure of jute mills,” IJMA said.

 

A city-based mill owner told The Telegraph that several mills were on the verge of closure because of labour unrest and the lack of demand. A cut in government procurement is likely to worsen the situation further.

 

An estimated demand of jute bags is done before each Kharif and Rabi season by a committee comprising officials of the ministries of textile, food and public distribution, the jute commissioner, representatives of various states and of IJMA.

 

Total requirement is likely to be only 23 lakh bales in this fiscal against 32 lakh bales projected in a standing advisory committee meeting by the jute commissioner.

 

“This is inspite of a bumper jute crop, installed sacking capacity of more than 45 lakh bales and the ability of the industry to deliver the required bags within a short period,” the association said.

 

Source

The Telegraph

20-01-2014

 

 

Jute industry in dock for selling in open market

 
 

It's mandatory for govt procuring agencies to pack entire foodgrains and sugar in jute bags

 

The Jute Commissioner has leveled serious charges and pulled up the jute industry for faltering on commitments by diverting jute bags to the open markets to secure higher prices. The bags were meant for supplying to government procurement agencies to pack food grains in 2012-13.


The industry has been accused of making misleading statements on the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). On November 28, CCEA decided to de-reserve the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987 and allowed use of plastic bags, replacing jute bags for packing 80% sugar and 10% food grains produced in the country in 2013-14.

 

As per the Act, it is mandatory for the government procuring agencies to pack the entire food grains and sugar in jute bags. In a letter to the Union textiles ministry, the Jute commissioner Subrata Gupta held that in 2012-13, the jute mills preferred to sell in the open market and were thus unable to supply to the government indented quantities meant for packing of food grains.

 

To cope up with the situation, the government was compelled to dilute the reservation order. In 2012-13, the CCEA decided to use 60 pe rcent plastic bags for packing sugar and 10% for packing food grains. Gupta said there are number of precedents to prove that the jute industry is incapable of supplies. Therefore, the government has decided to use plastic bags.

 

In Kharif 2012-13, almost 350,000 bales (one bale is 180 kg) and during Rabi 2013-14, 861,000 bales of non-jute materials were used for packing food grains. According to the Jute Commissioner’s office between November 2012 and April 2013, the percentage of month-end jute bag supply backlog ranged from 3-45%. The jute industry, however, has brushed off the allegations. "The jute industry has not faltered on its supply commitments. We are capable of supplying as per the demand raised by the government procuring agencies”, said Sanjay Kajaria, managing director, Hastings jute mill.

 

Raghav Gupta, chairman of Indian Jute Mills' Association (IJMA) could not be reached for comments.


The Central food ministry had overestimated demand and purchased around  700,000 bales of HDPE (high density polyethylene)/ PP (polypropylene) bags in Rabi 2012-13. Almost 500,000 bales have remained unused, blocking around Rs 200 crore. The Food ministry had now decided to re-use the bags in Rabi 2014-15. On January 15, the government had asked the food ministry to withdraw the decision and fix responsibility on reason for overestimating the demand to allow purchase of plastic bags.

For 2013-14, while the percent of dilution in case of food grains remains the same, the Cabinet has allowed use of 80% plastic bags for packing sugar. A sugar panel headed by the C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) had already recommended on freeing sugar packaging from the control of the jute industry.

 

Source

Business Standard

15-01-2014

 

 

 

India Govt raises MSP of Raw Jute to Rs2400/100kg for 2014-15

 
 

The increase in the MSP of raw jute is expected to encourage farmers to step up investment in jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity of jute in the country, according to a release by the Ministry of ..

 

NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): India Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 2014-15 season for TD-5 grade of Jute at Rs.2400 per quintal in the entire country. This is an increase of Rs.100 per quintal over the MSP announced by the government for the last season.

 

The increase in the MSP of raw jute is expected to encourage farmers to step up investment in jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity of jute in the country, according to a release by the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday.

 

In order to incentivize farmers for the production of higher grades, the premiums for TD-3 and TD-4 varieties of raw jute will be maintained at 20 percent and 8 percent respectively in relation to the price of TD-5. The Jute Corporation of India (JCI) would continue to act as the nodal agency to undertake price support operation at MSP in jute growing states.

CCEA has also approved, that subject to availability of foodgrains in the Central Pool, allocation of foodgrains for festivals and natural calamities to States/ Union Territories (UTs) will be made at MSP and MSP derived prices for wheat and rice respectively, and at economic cost for any other additional foodgrains requirement of the States/UTs.

The CCEA has also approved the revision in price of allotment made to the Government of Uttarakhand for flood relief in the current year from economic cost to MSP/MSP derived prices in consonance with this decision regarding allocation for calamity relief.

 

 

Source

Commodity Online

03-01-2014

 

 
 

Bangla-India textile JWG meets in city Jan 21

IJSG's successor body high on agenda

 
 

The first Bangladesh-India joint working group (JWG) meeting is set to be held this month for further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in textiles, officials said. In the upcoming meeting on January 21 to be held in the city, the setting up of a successor organisation to the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) in Dhaka will be high on the agenda, they said.

Besides textiles, the agenda being prepared will include discussions on jute, silk, garments, looms and purchase of cotton for Bangladesh's textile mills, sources concerned said. The Ministry of Textiles and Jute (MoTJ) has already informed the Indian side in this connection.

Both the sides would also discuss the future of the IJSG as the tenure of the body will expire in March, source said."Bangladesh is in favour of continuing the operation of the IJSG as it is the only organisation having headquarters in Dhaka," a high official of the MoTJ said.

 

India has, in principle, agreed to support the Bangladesh initiative for a successor multilateral organisation in jute sector for taking forward the initiatives of the IJSG, the ministry's latest minutes said in this regard. Dhaka has already informed the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretary general along with Indian agreed papers for the continuation of the operation of the IJSG, an official of the MoTJ said.

 

Led by MoTJ a policy paper has to be prepared for continued operation of the IJSG. The ministry of foreign affairs will take necessary steps in this regard, the minutes added. India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in textiles on August 19 last year.

Under the MoU on textiles sector, collaboration would act as a major trade facilitation mechanism, by establishing an institutional mechanism for collaboration through a joint working group (JWG), sources said.

The JWG would develop collaborations between the textiles institutions in the two countries, including skill building institutions, fashion institutes and research institutions, sources said. Jute and textiles contributed more than 50 per cent of Bangladesh's exports of $63.96 million to India in the last fiscal.

 

Source

The Financial Express

18-01-2014

 

 

 

Lebanon keen to import jute, jute goods from Bangladesh

 
 

Staff Correspondent

Lebanon, a potential export destination, has expressed keen interest to import jute and jute goods from Bangladesh, a top official of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation said.


BJMC Chairman Major General (retd) Humayun Khaled who recently visited some of the Middle East countries, disclosed the Lebanese interest in Bangladeshi jute and jute goods.


Talking to New Age recently, he said while meeting with leaders of Lebanese chamber of commerce and industries in Beirut, he came to know that Lebanon would import jute and jute goods from Bangladesh.

 

The Lebanese chamber leaders were interested not only to buy jute and jute goods but also they want to import readymade garments, fish, leather and leader goods and ceramics from Bangladesh, he said. Humayun Khaled said a Lebanese business team would visit Bangladesh soon after the ongoing political unrest calms down to place their orders.


About Syria, he said Bangladesh delegation led by himself has signed an agreement with Syria. According to the agreement, Syria would buy about 30,000 bales of jute and jute goods from Bangladesh.


A Syrian team is scheduled to visit Bangladesh during the current week, he said.
The BJMC official also said that despite unstable and risky situation in Iraq, Bangladesh was trying to export jute and jute goods to Iraq via Turkey. Officials at Bangladesh Embassy in Bagdad has been in contact with the Iraqi businessmen in this regard, he said.

 

When asked about United Arab Emirates, which decided to ban using polythene by 2014, Humayun Khaled said that UAE could be a potential destination for Bangladeshi jute goods.


Bangladesh business community has been making efforts to increase the use of jute and jute goods in Dubai, he said.

 

In addition, BJMC on behalf of the government would set up two big warehouses of jute goods in Dubai, which is called ‘the business hub’ of the world, he said. According to statistics available at department of jute, Bangladesh has so far produced about 9.77 lakh tonnes of jute goods in 2012-13 fiscal year.Bangladesh has earned about Tk 6,162 crore during 2012-13 fiscal year by exporting some 8.68 lakh tonnes of jute goods, the data show.

 

Source

The New Age

13-01-2014

 

 

Exports of jute, jute goods fall drastically Unrest at home, importing states blamed

 
 

Due to the ongoing political turmoil at home and prevailing instability in the states that source jute goods from Bangladesh, the country’s jute sector has been going through a tougher time at present. Besides, the high bank interest rates and lack of government support to uplift the sector were also blamed for the dilapidated condition of the once called golden fibre of the country.

According to information, jute and jute goods sector saw a 23.37 percent shortfall in reaching the target for bagging foreign exchanges during the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal. The sector was set to bring $543.45 million during the said period but managed to bring $416 million.

Meanwhile, the sector lagged behind by 17.10 percent in bringing foreign exchange during the period under review compared to that of the previous fiscal. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data suggests that jute and jute goods sector had brought $502.39 million during the first six months of last fiscal. If the current trend continues, then the sector would face a negative growth in earning foreign currencies, experts said.

The jute and jute goods sector includes raw jute, jute yarn and twine, jute sacks, bags and other jute-made products. Exporting jute goods dropped in large volume as the sector has been facing political turmoil that hampered the shipments, said Kamran Uddin, former president of the Bangladesh Jute Goods Association.

 

He said that the jute mills are scattered and located across the country. “Jute mills are located at different places including Faridpur, Rangpur, Khulna, Dhaka and Chittagong districts. Due to political turmoil, the jute millers cannot ship their products except the mills located in Dhaka and Chittagong. As the mills of Dhaka and Chittagong located near the port, they can ship jute goods in a little volume”, he added.The volume of export of jute goods went down by 60 percent during last few months, he said holding the ongoing political turmoil responsible for such a fall.

 

Sector insiders said that the country export jute goods to India, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, China and many South African countries. It was learnt that the country export 88 percent of its total jute goods to the said countries. India and Pakistan mainly import raw jutes from Bangladesh, they said. Though the sector has experienced almost five times growth in exporting jute goods in last three years, the sector this year has been passing through a tougher time, Kamran said.

 

Along with political turmoil in the country, instability in the foreign countries that source jute goods from Bangladesh was also another reason for decline in export growth.
“Unrest in Syria and Sudan dropped jute goods export of the country”, he mentioned.
Besides, the fluctuation in exchange rates of US dollar and Indian rupees was a major cause for such a bad time for the country’s jute sector, Kamran informed. Mohammad Shahjahan, President of the Bangladesh Jute Exporters’ Association while talking to this correspondent said that export of raw jute in India declined drastically after fluctuation of rupees.

If the government pays attention to the sector it would get back its golden time, he said adding, “First of all, the government should reduce the bank interest rates.”

 

Source

The Daily Sun

11-01-2014

 

 

Jute industry in crisis over supply of 30-kg bags

 
 

The jute industry has confronted a crisis with the Punjab government raising a sudden demand for 30 kg jute bags instead of the regular 50 kg bags for packaging of wheat and other food grains.

The demand was recently placed by the Punjab government before the Union food ministry under the National Food Security Act. The Act is likely to come into effect from June this year. Punjab has proposed to procure 30 kg jute bags for packing 0.87 million tonne of wheat during the Rabi marketing season of 2014-15.

The jute industry lacks the expertise to produce 30 kg bags. Presently, the industry is capable of producing and supplying only 50 kg bags with each bag weighing 665 gms. The bags are used for packing of sugar and food grains under the provisions of Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987. The Act provides for a mandatory 100 per cent reservation for jute bags for sugar and food grains for government procurement agencies.

“The requirement for 30 kg bags can also be derived by using the similar line of production used for manufacturing 50 kg bags,” says a leading jute mill owner. It is only the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) that can decide if the 50 kg specification (BIS 12650: 2003) can be used for 30 kg jute bags.

“We have already approached the BIS regarding specifications for manufacture of 30 kg jute bags. I believe the industry can manufacture such bags. We will immediately supply the 30 kg bags on receipt of demand,” said Raghav Gupta, chairman of Indian Jute Mills’ Association (IJMA).
Punjab is the largest purchaser of jute bags in each Rabi and Kharif seasons for packing food grains. Over a third of the one million tonne jute bags produced for government buying are purchased by Punjab through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the Kharif and Rabi seasons. The current government price of jute bags is around Rs 52,000 per tonne. Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are the other leading purchasers of jute bags for packing food grains and sugar.

Almost 30 per cent of the 250 million tonne of food grains produced are, packed in jute bags worth around Rs 6,000 crore. Around 40 per cent of jute bags produced is purchased by the Union food ministry through Food Corporation of India (FCI) on behalf of different state food procuring agencies. The jute sector has the capacity to manufacture around 1.2 million tonne of jute bags. The installed capacity is around 1.5 million tonne.

 

Source

The Business Standard

08-01-2014

 

 
 

Indian Textile Ministry to promote jute fabrics for rural roads

 
 

The Union Ministry of Textile is planning to promote use of jute geo textiles for construction of rural roads across India. Geo textiles are permeable fabrics used as an agent to strengthen the road foundations and prevent soil erosion along the banks. Jute geo textiles are said to be about 25% cheaper than other fabrics. However, this bio-degradable material is low on longevity and is best used in rural or arterial roads, which do not attract heavy traffic.

 

Road construction

According to a National Jute Board (NJB) official, jute-based textiles are currently in use in constructing 35 ongoing rural roads, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, across the country. While majority of the projects are in Karnataka, in South West India, the practice is gaining popularity in at least three other states, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, said that the use of jute geo textiles is likely to move up substantially in the next two years. According to Gupta, project reports for nine roads spread across five states such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam and West Bengal have also been prepared.

 

Jute geo textiles production

Rough estimates available with NJB suggest that consumption of the fabric increased by about 10% a year since 2010. In 2010, approximately 60 lakh square metres of jute geo textile were used in road development, a top official of the cell added. Out of the 80 odd jute mills operating across the country, 13 mills manufacture jute geo textile.

Despite efforts to promote the natural fibre, absence of a regulation for mandatory use of jute instead of synthetic textiles and lack of support from local administration pose challenges before the industry, it has been reported.

 

Challenges

“It is an uphill task to convince various agencies and engineers the benefits of jute geo textile unless there is a mandate,” the top official said. According to him, it will also be difficult to involve more jute mill owners in production of the fibre until the demand situation improves.

 

Source

The Innovation Textile

06-01-2014

 

 

 

Textile Ministry plans to promote use of jute fabrics for rural roads

 
 

Geo textiles are permeable fabrics used as an agent to strengthen the road foundations and prevent soil erosion along the banks.

 

Taking a cue from the success story in Karnataka, the Union Ministry of Textile is planning to promote use of jute geo textiles for construction of rural roads across the country. Geo textiles are permeable fabrics used as an agent to strengthen the road foundations and prevent soil erosion along the banks.

 

Jute geo textiles are generally 25 per cent cheaper than other fabrics. However, being bio-degradable, it is low on longevity and is best used in rural or arterial roads, which do not attract heavy traffic. According to a National Jute Board (NJB) official, jute-based textiles are currently in use in constructing 35 ongoing rural roads, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, across the country. While majority of the projects are in Karnataka; the practice is gaining popularity in at least three other states, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

 

Confirming the development Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, said use of jute geo textiles is likely to move up substantially in the next two years. According to Gupta, project reports for nine roads spread across five states such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam and West Bengal have also been prepared. Rough estimates available with NJB suggest that consumption of the fabric moved up by 10 per cent a year on an average since 2010.

 

In 2010, approximately 60 lakh square metre of jute geo textile was used in road development, a top official of the cell added. Of the 80 odd jute mills operating across the country, 13 mills manufacture jute geo textile. Despite efforts to promote the natural fibre, absence of a regulation for mandatory use of jute instead synthetic textiles and lack of support from local administration pose challenges before the industry.

 

Challenges
“It is an uphill task to convince various agencies and engineers the benefits of jute geo textile unless there is a mandate,” the top official said.

According to him, it will also be difficult to involve more jute mill owners in production of the fibre until the demand situation improves.

 

Source

The Business Line

05-01-2014

 

 

 

Go green with jute

 
 

A wide range of products on display at expo

The natural yarn of jute in varied shapes and forms meet your eyes at ‘Jute Air’ exhibition that began at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Bhavan here on Friday.

Master weavers from across the country have put up their exhibits in 23 stalls at the expo facilitated by National Jute Board, Hyderabad, under the Ministry of Textiles of India.

 

The expo features a wide range of home furnishing, attractive jute jewellery, eco-friendly wall hangings, jute bags in diverse sizes, table mats, wallets, showpieces, swings and several other products. Those who want to check out on jute sandals, the venue offers a colourful selection of flip-flops.

 

Entrepreneurs and direct manufacturers from different places like Srikakulam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and other regions put up their exhibits. Some of the wall hangings also have a subtle blend of appliqu� work with beads and embroidery embedded in them.

 

Additional Joint Collector Y. Narasimha Rao, who inaugurated the expo, said that the products displayed have gone through a refined metamorphosis compared to last year. “The hand woven crafts are neat and elegant that suits the taste of the present generation. The recent introduction of GO 101, which came into existence this year, facilitates entrepreneurs who belong to SC/ST/BC, members of disabled welfare group, minorities and other groups avail a subsidy of either Rs.1 lakh or 60 per cent of the unit cost whichever is less to set up their own enterprise.”

Growing demand

 

B. Narsimulu of National Jute Board highlighted the growing demand for jute products across the country. He said: “The avenue not only helps the weavers gain an extra edge to improve their marketing techniques but also offers an excellent alternative to plastic bags.”

 

Source

The Hindu

04-01-2014

 

 

 

 Support price for jute hiked to Rs 2,400/quintal

 
 

The Centre has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute by Rs 100 a quintal to Rs 2,400 for the 2014-15 season. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved the higher MSP for TD-5 grade of jute at Rs 2,400, an official statement said. In order to incentivise farmers for production of higher grades, the premiums for TD-3 and TD-4 varieties will be maintained at 20 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, in relation to the price of TD-5. The Jute Corporation of India will continue to act as the nodal agency to for price support operations.

 

Source

The Hindu

04-01-2014

 

 

 

India's jute exports may reach Rs 28bn in FY 2013-14'

 
 

Exports of jute products from India is expected to reach Rs. 28 billion in value during the 2013-14 fiscal year, owing to the increasing demand for jute from the West, said Beela Rajesh, executive director, Handloom Export Promotion Council of the Ministry of Textiles.

 

Ms. Rajesh who was speaking at speaking at a buyer-seller meet organized by the National Jute Board in association with Federation of Indian Export Organizations, said the global jute import market, which went through a lean period from 2011 to the mid-2012 is picking up again as top markets in the US and Europe restarted buying, reports The Hindu Business Line.

 

Growing acceptance of jute bags as a personal accessory, and shopping bags made of the fibre for its eco-friendly nature, are brightening its prospects in the West, and demand for floor coverings, wall hangings, gunny bags, and gift articles made from jute are also increasing, she added.

 

At the buyer-seller meet, Ms. Rajesh said that jute was originally never used for purposes beyond covering floors, but with treatment and printing is now as good as a fabric.

 

T Ayyapan, market promotion officer, National Jute Board, said that during the meet, manufacturers of jute products from Southern India, displayed products like wall hangings that were treated to soften the texture of the fibre.

 

According to the National Jute Board official, this kind of technique used while manufacturing jute goods would find demand in Western markets.

 

As per the RBI data, during the first half of 2013-14, exports of jute and jute products from the country totaled to US$ 181.8 million (approx. Rs. 11 billion).

 

Source

The Business standard

04-01-2014

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Support Price of Raw Jute at Rs.2400 per quintal for 2014-15 seasons

 

 
 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 2014-15 season for TD-5 grade of Jute at Rs.2400 per quintal for the entire country. This is an increase of Rs 100 per quintal over the MSP announced by the Government for the last season. The increase in the MSP of raw jute is expected to encourage farmers to step up investment in jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity of jute in the country.

 

In order to incentivize farmers for the production of higher grades, the premiums for TD-3 and TD-4 varieties of raw jute will be maintained at 20 percent and 8 percent respectively in relation to the price of TD-5.

 

The Jute Corporation of India (JCI) would continue to act as the nodal agency to undertake price support operation at MSP in jute growing states.

 

Source

The Business standard

03-01-2014

 
 

Jute win for Jusco’s green war

 
 

- Kiosk at flower show sells around 300 eco-friendly bags in two days. Love Jamshedpur, love jute — Jusco is telling all residents.

 

The utility service provider, which caters to Tata Steel command areas, has stepped up its green campaign by coming up with durable jute bags as an environment-friendly option to polythene ones. Jusco, which so far had been distributing the bags among its employees, sold them to public at a kiosk at the annual flower show that ended at Gopal Maidan, Bistupur, on Monday.

 

The kiosk selling jute bags at the flower show at Gopal Maidan, Jamshedpur, on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

The 16inch x 14inch bags, procured from an agency in Calcutta, are being sold as part of the Tata subsidiary’s year-long Zimmedar Nagrik, Zimmedar Shahar campaign that started this June. Each bag is priced at Rs 75 and comes with the inscription “I love Jamshedpur”.

 

“Several NGOs sell paper and cloth bags. However, jute bags are more attractive and durable though they cost a tad more. But the response to our stall has been nothing less than overwhelming. In two days (till Sunday), around 300 bags were sold,” said Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan. He added that the positive response had further enthused them to spread the campaign. “We started selling jute bags among Jusco employees this month. Talks are on for a similar drive at Tinplate Company of India Limited, Tata Power, Tata Motors and other major units. We will also hold dialogues with educational institutions, hotels and traders,” the spokesperson said.

 

Meetings have been planned with Jamshedpur Hoteliers’ Association and Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry in January. The state pollution board has banned use of plastic below 50-micron density.

 

Source

The Telegraph

30-12-2013

 

 

 

Export earnings from jute, jute goods drop drastically

 
 

Export earnings from jute and jute goods declined drastically in July-November period of the current fiscal year (FY) due to the sanction on Iran and price cuts of the products, industry insiders said.

Exporters also linked political turmoil in the Middle East and economic gloom in Europe to the sluggish demand of the natural fibre. According to data available with the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), export earning from the second largest foreign currency earner after apparel fell by 25 per cent over its export target for the period and by 19.8 per cent compared to the same period of the previous FY.

"We are passing through hard times in almost all export destinations. Export earnings both in terms of value and volume have declined," a director of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) that oversees the state-run jute mills told the FE, preferring anonymity. "Besides, demands for jute-made fashionable items are on the increase which we cannot fulfil for lack of modern machinery," he said.

"Moreover, the demand for carpet and carpet backing cloth has fallen as these are not essential items like food," the BJMC official added. However, echoing with his claim, private sector exporters blamed difficulties in payment realization mechanism with Iran and depreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar for affecting the export of jute and jute goods to Iran and India, the two major destinations of Bangladesh's exports.

 

"Ongoing economic sanction on Iran and Syria also hurt jute exports to those countries, as buyers are unable to pay for shortage of international currencies and difficulties in payment," President of Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) Mahafujul Huq told the FE. "Sanction on Iran and currency depreciation between US dollar and Indian currency came as blows to the sector as well, leading to a fall in demand and price cuts," he added.

 

"If Bangladesh takes initiatives to settle all bilateral payment issues in riyal-taka mechanism, then export to Iran and Syria can be increased significantly soon," he said.

 

Mr Huq also informed that following the difficulties in clearance of letters of credit (L/Cs) in US dollar, India had come to an agreement with the Iranian authority to settle all India-Iran payment issues in riyal-rupee mechanism which is now in practice.

Besides, buyers are offering $ 103-105 for per hundred jute sacks, from the previous $ 120, he said adding that the prices of other jute goods, such as yarn, also fell.

 

According to EPB data, growth of raw jute exports slowed down to 49 per cent in July-November period of this FY from around 20 per cent of the corresponding period of the last FY. Growth of export earnings from jute sacks and bags declined by 42 per cent from around 30 per cent growth in the same period of last FY, EPB data showed.

 

"Uncertainty over demand for jute prevails in the global market. Buyers, who had earlier placed orders for six months, have reduced their purchase volumes to meet short-term demands," said Mahmudul Huq, deputy managing director of Janata Jute Mills Ltd, a leading jute yarn and jute goods exporter.


However, to protect the sector and farmers from losses, both the BJMC official and Janata Jute Mill official recommended faster implementation of the compulsory packaging law using jute bags.

"Implementation of the law has become important now to boost domestic consumption and thus shield the whole sector," said Haque. "If we can ensure packaging of food grains by jute bags alone, the domestic demand would increase," the BJMC official said.

 

Source

The Financial Express

29-12-2013

 

 

The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has said that the reduction in procurement of jute bags for sugar for the upcoming season will “adversely impact” the industry.  According to the new provisions, 20 per cent of sugar will have to be mandatorily packed in jute bags.

 

 
 

The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has said that the reduction in procurement of jute bags for sugar for the upcoming season will “adversely impact” the industry.  According to the new provisions, 20 per cent of sugar will have to be mandatorily packed in jute bags.

 

Currently, it is mandatory to pack 40 per cent of sugar in jute bags.

As a result, sales from the 80-odd jute mills across the country is expected to drop substantially, S. Majumdar, Director General, IJMA, said. “There has been a substantial decline in orders from Government agencies for jute bags. Further reduction in procurement will hit the industry badly,” he told reporters during a press conference here.

 

For different Agencies

 

The Directorate-General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, purchases jute bags (having 50 kg capacities) for different Central agencies. Currently, the Centre procures two types of jute bags – one for food grains and another for sugar. In case of food grains, it procures 90 per cent of the total production.

 

Full Procurement

 

According to IJMA, the Centre should restore 100 per cent procurement of jute bags for food grains and sugar. While, this was the practice till 2010-11, changes were initiated 2011-12 onwards. In 2011-12, the mandatory procurement across both categories was reduced.

 

In 2012-13, the procurement for sugar only was reduced. However, Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, said that the industry has been witnessing a shortage in supply of jute bags in the last couple of years.

 

“Since supply was short and total requirement was not met on earlier occasions, the Centre decided to reduce procurement (from jute bag makers),” he said. According to the Jute Commissioner, lack of competitiveness among jute mills due to higher dependency on Government for mandatory procurement is impacting the industry.

Commitment-based scheme to ensure adequate supply

 

The Union Ministry of Textiles expects to ensure ample supply of jute bags through a commitment-based procurement scheme. Demand from various government agencies for jute bags to pack food grains went up by more than 40 per cent to nearly 38 lakh bales in 2012-13 against 27 lakh bales during the year-ago period. However, 80-odd jute mills put together actually supplied close to 27 lakh bales of jute bags in 2012-13.

According to Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, going by the scheme initiated in May, an agreement is signed between the Office of the Jute Commissioner and the mill owner seeking a “commitment of supply” of jute bags for a stipulated period. “Since the country has been seeing increase in production of food grains, there is a need to ensure adequate supply of jute bags,” Gupta told Business Line in an interview.

 

He further explained the total requirement for procurement by government agencies is being distributed among jute mills “based on their capacity and willingness”.

Production Capacity

 

Previously, the mills had to meet the government’s demand for jute bags based only on their production capacity, and irrespective of their willingness to sell it to the government agencies. According to the Jute Commissioner, there has been shortage of supply due to discretionary sales after a drop in government rates for jute bags on many occasions.

 

While the scheme offers more freedom to the mill owners, it also reduces the risk of short supply for the government agencies since there are stringent norms for defaulters.

 

Penalty for Defaulters

So far, it has been implemented across 63 different jute mills in the country, Gupta said. “Under this scheme, any jute mill that defaults on its commitment may be barred from supplying for two years,” he said. Anirudh Kajaria of Hastings Jute Mill in West Bengal feels such a scheme will ultimately stop mill owners from defaulting supply.

 

Source

The Business standard

27-12-2013

 

 

 

Jute mills body concerned on dilution of JPM Act provisions

 

 
 

Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) today voiced concern over the dilution of provisions of the Jute Packaging Materials Act of 1987 saying it would spell doom for the industry. Chairman of IJMA Raghav Gupta said till 2010, the mandatory provisions of the Act ensured that jute bags were used for 100 per cent packaging of sugar and foodgrains.

 

However, in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meet in November 28 this year, this was diluted by 80 per cent for sugar and 10 per cent for foodgrains, he told reporters here. IJMA also said that despite several representations to the Jute Commissioner Subrata Gupta, the matter had not being taken up before the Textiles Ministry.

 

Former IJMA chairman Sanjay Kajaria said representations had also been made to the Prime Minister's Office and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.  Kajaria alleged that due to intense lobbying by the plastics industry, the Centre was diluting the mandatory provisions of the Act.

At the time of legislation in 1987, cement and fertilisers were also to be mandatorily packed in jute bags, but it was later totally withdrawn leaving only sugar and foodgrains.  About 2.5 lakh workers were directly employed in the jute industry and 40 lakh farmers were involved in jute crop cultivation.

 

Source

The Business standard

26-12-2013

 

 

NBR sets C&F agents� commission on jute, fish, carpet exports

 

 
 

Jasim Uddin

 

The National Board of Revenue has fixed the rate of clearing and forwarding agents’ commission on export of some items including jute and jute goods, sacks, bags, carpets, fishes and shrimps for smooth collection of advance income tax on the commission, officials of NBR said.


The revenue board last week set the rate of C&F agents’ commission on bill of export of the products as the customs authorities were facing difficulties in deducting ITC in automated ASYCUDA World System, they said. Currently, C&F agents’ commission is determined based on the number of packets of the exported goods such as Tk 10 for per bale or roll of jute, Tk 7 for per bale of raw jutes, Tk 4 per packet of other jute goods, Tk 10 for per roll of carpets. 


Commission and ITC fixation are quite a complex process as types and weight of packets of export products are not specified in the current system.

 

C&F agents have to pay 10 per cent advance income tax on income from commission.
A NBR senior official said that some exporters prepared packets of their products with different weights. For example, someone prepare a packet of fish with a weight of 20 kg while some do it 50 kg. In the system, C&F agents get same commission for clearing and forwarding products with different weights that create disparity among them, he said.


On the other hand, customs officials assess advance income tax on commission manually and some times C&F agents do not pay the taxes. ‘We found many mismatch in amount of taxes between manual calculation and automated ASYCUDA World System,’ an NBR official told New Age on Monday.

 

Considering the overall circumstances, the revenue board has fixed the rate of commission to remove the scope of tax evasion and complexities in fixing commission, he said.


According to an NBR order, C&F agents will get 0.054 per cent as commission on valuation price of export items up to Tk 10 lakh, 0.035 per cent on valuation price of Tk 10 lakh and 0.023 per cent on valuation price above Tk 20 lakh. Minimum commission, however, has been fixed at Tk 1,000. The rate will be applicable for jute, jute goods, jute and other textile based fibres, single yarn of jute and of other textile based fibres, woven fabrics of jute, sacks and bags of jute used for packing goods, all kinds of carpets and other textile floor coverings, frogs’ legs, fishes, shrimps and prawns. 

 

 

Source

The New Age

11-12-2013

 

 

 

Rivals unite in jute protest

 
 

Trinamul and the Left Front today joined hands to pass a state government resolution against the Centre’s decision to cut down on the use of jute bags. Last month, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had eased rules on mandatory use of jute in packaging. Under the revised norms, jute bags must be used for 90 per cent of food grain produced till June 2014, down from 100 per cent earlier. For sugar, the limit was halved to 20 per cent.

 

Industries minister Partha Chatterjee said around three crore farmers and workers in Bengal, the largest producer of jute in the country, would be affected because of the decision.

 

“Jute is produced in 15 Bengal districts. Fifty-four jute mills are operational in the state. The lives of farmers and workers linked to the jute industry will be affected as a result of the decision. The state government cannot remain silent,” Chatterjee, also the parliamentary affairs minister, said in the Assembly.

 

Trinamul sources said chief minister Mamata Banerjee wanted the resolution to be passed in the Assembly to record her protest against the Centre’s move. Chatterjee said he had written to Union commerce and industries minister Anand Sharma to voice the state’s opposition to the decision.

 

CPM MLA Anisur Rahman said the party had “no problem in supporting the state government on issues that directly affect the people”. “When we were in power, we had taken up with the Centre the demands of jute farmers and mill workers. Last year, we had met the state agriculture minister and requested him to ensure minimum support price for jute farmers,” said Rahman, a former minister.

 

On December 2, the Left had backed a government resolution against the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar cards mandatory for subsidy on domestic LPG cylinders.

 

The Congress, which has been boycotting the winter session of the House, stayed away on both occasions. The winter session has witnessed several Left and Congress boycotts and walkouts over the allegation that the government has been gagging the voice of the Opposition in the Assembly.

 

Source

The Telegraph

10-12-2013

  

 

International Conference on

 ‘Global Challenges and Prospects of Jute and Allied Fibres’

 
 

An international conference on ‘Global Challenges and Prospects of Jute and Allied Fibres’ was held on 4th – 6th December, 2013 at Kolkata, India on the occasion of Platinum Jubilee of IJIRA.The conference was organized by Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA), Kolkata in Association with National Jute Board (NJB), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

 

The conference was opened through a grand Inaugural Ceremony on 4th December, 2013 where distinguished guests delivered their addresses on the occasion. Shri D C Baheti, Chairman, IJIRA delivered the welcome address to the guests. Shri Bhupendra Singh, Secretary General, International Jute Study Group was the Chief Guest of the occasion and Dr. Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India delivered the Keynote address. During their addresses, Shri Arijit Banerjee, Secretary, NJB and Shri Raghavendra Gupta, Chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association highlighted the need of such conference for the benefit of jute sector. At the end, Dr. Prabir Ray, Director, IJIRA personated the vote of thanks.

 

In the two days technical sessions (5th and 6th December, 2013) of the international conference, eighteen speakers presented their research works and experience with jute and allied fibres. Delegates and speakers from 13 different countries including India had participated in the conference.

 

From the international conference it has been emerged out that for a sustainable growth of the global jute sector, current challenges of the jute sector have to be overcome by extensive research. And to meet this, following areas need to be addressed –

�         Well focused applied research projects in limited numbers may be undertaken to develop newer products, processes and services

�         There is important need to improve the production of good quality raw jute and subsequent surface modification for preparation the suitable value-added application

�         Genetic modification may be tried for jute & allied fibres for improving productivity and quality

�         Bio-extraction of jute by application of Anaerobic Process may be experimented

�         There is strong need of development/improvement of following diversified items

o    Nonwoven

o    Green bio-composite

o    Geotextile

o    Agrotextile

�         Future market of jute depends on attention to the followings –

o    Fine yarn manufacturing for value added products

o    Lightweight shopping bags

o    Lightweight sacking bags

o    Food grade jute bags

o    Jute based floor coverings

The conference was concluded through a Valedictory Session on 6th December, 2013, where, Shri Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India delivered the valedictory address. Shri Bhupendra Singh, Dr. Subrata Gupta, Shri Arijit Banerjee, Shri Raghavendra Gupta and Shri D C Baheti also delivered addresses in the concluding session. IJIRA presented a brief proceeding of the technical presentations given by the guests in the conference.

 

 
 

 

Jute exports likely to rise 33% this fiscal

 

 

 

Exportof jute products is expected to touch Rs 2,800 crore in value during the current fiscal on the back of an increase in demand from the West, said Beela Rajesh, Executive Director, Handloom Export Promotion Council, Ministry of Textiles.

 

In 2012-13, exports fetched Rs 2,094 crore.

 

The global jute import market, which went through a lean period from 2011 to mid-2012, is picking up again as top markets Europe and the US have restarted buying. Growing acceptance of jute bags as a personal accessory and shopping bags made from the natural fibre for its eco-friendliness have brightened its prospects in the West, she said.

 

Floor coverings, wall hangings, gunny bagsand gift articles are also in demand, she added.

 

Data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics say that the export of floor coverings was Rs 142.9 crore during April-September,while jute Hessian bags shipment touched Rs 405 crore and other jute products Rs 475.4 crore, signalling strong demand.

 

“Jute, originally, was not used for purposes beyond covering floors. But with treatment and printing, it looks and feels as good as fabric,” she said speaking at a buyer-seller meet organised by the National Jute Board in association with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

 

National Jute Board and Jute Product Development and Export Promotion Council, set up in 2011, are funding entrepreneurs interested in jute product manufacturing and helping manufacturers upgrade facilities.

 

Traditionally West Bengal-based, the jute business is spreading to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

 

At the exposition, manufacturers from the South showcased printed wall hangings that were treated to smoothen the texture of the fibre, something that will find buyers in the Western markets, said T. Ayyapan, Market Promotion Officer, NJB.

 

 

Source

The Hindu Business Line  

19-12-2013

 

 

Raw jute export plunges

 
 

December 2, 2013

 

The export of raw jute has plunged in the current fiscal year due to devaluation of currency of neighbouring India, a major raw jute importer from Bangladesh, jute department officials said.


They said the drastic fall in the raw jute export would discourage the growers from cultivating more jute and they (the growers) would also be deprived of fair price of their produce.


According to jute department statistics, 2.15 lakh bales of raw jute were exported till December 2, 2013, while 20.55 lakh bales of raw jute were exported in the last fiscal year 2012-13.


In the FY 2011-12 some 22.85 lakh bales of raw jute were exported. Jute department officials said that total raw jute export in the current fiscal year would drop by more than 50 per cent in the current fiscal year from that in the last fiscal year.

 

The government has set a target of producing about 95 lakh bales of jute in the current crop year, they said.‘The government is trying to increase domestic use of jute against the backdrop of the plunge in the export of raw jute by implementing mandatory jute packaging act,’ jute department director Mohammed Kefayet Ullah told New Age on Tuesday.He said the government was also trying to explore new export destinations for raw jute and jute goods from Bangladesh. Dubai, which has banned using of polythene bag, would be a source of jute bag export from Bangladesh, he said.


The jute sector of Bangladesh contributes foreign exchange equivalent to Tk 8,000 crore annually to the government exchequer, Kefayet said.

 

A senior jute department official said that India had stopped importing raw jute from Bangladesh in the current crop year due to its government policy which was discouraging import amid devaluation of its currency. ‘Iran, another raw jute importer, has also reduced buying jute due to financial restriction imposed by the western countries,’ he said. Pakistan, China, Vietnam and European countries import jute and jute goods from Bangladesh in small-scale, the official said.


In this situation, jute farmers and jute millers demanded that the government should increase local consumption of jute through implementing immediately the jute packaging act.


They also urged the government to ensure fair price of jute to help increase its production in the country.


India started mandatory use of jute since 1987. Though Bangladesh enacted the mandatory jute packaging act in 2010, the law is yet to be implemented, an official of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation told New Age. Bangladesh Jute growers’ Samity general secretary Harun-Ur Rashid said,


‘BJMC’s dues to small-scale jute traders and jute farmers are Tk 350 crore in the current year.’


The corporation should pay the dues soon to help save the local jute mills and jute growers.


He urged the government to set the price of jute at Tk 2,200 a mound (40 kilogram) as the production cost has increased.  

 

Source

The News Age 

02-12-2013

 

 

 
 

NBR sets C&F agents’ commission on jute, fish, carpet exports

 

 
 

Jasim Uddin 

 

The National Board of Revenue has fixed the rate of clearing and forwarding agents’ commission on export of some items including jute and jute goods, sacks, bags, carpets, fishes and shrimps for smooth collection of advance income tax on the commission, officials of NBR said. The revenue board last week set the rate of C&F agents’ commission on bill of export of the products as the customs authorities were facing difficulties in deducting ITC in automated ASYCUDA World System, they said.

 

Currently, C&F agents’ commission is determined based on the number of packets of the exported goods such as Tk 10 for per bale or roll of jute, Tk 7 for per bale of raw jutes, Tk 4 per packet of other jute goods, Tk 10 for per roll of carpets.  Commission and ITC fixation are quite a complex process as types and weight of packets of export products are not specified in the current system. C&F agents have to pay 10 per cent advance income tax on income from commission. A NBR senior official said that some exporters prepared packets of their products with different weights. For example, someone prepare a packet of fish with a weight of 20 kg while some do it 50 kg. 


In the system, C&F agents get same commission for clearing and forwarding products with different weights that create disparity among them, he said. 

 

On the other hand, customs officials assess advance income tax on commission manually and some times C&F agents do not pay the taxes. ‘We found many mismatch in amount of taxes between manual calculation and automated ASYCUDA World System,’ an NBR official told New Age on Monday. Considering the overall circumstances, the revenue board has fixed the rate of commission to remove the scope of tax evasion and complexities in fixing commission, he said. According to an NBR order, C&F agents will get 0.054 per cent as commission on valuation price of export items up to Tk 10 lakh, 0.035 per cent on valuation price of Tk 10 lakh and 0.023 per cent on valuation price above Tk 20 lakh. Minimum commission, however, has been fixed at Tk 1,000. 


The rate will be applicable for jute, jute goods, jute and other textile based fibres, single yarn of jute and of other textile based fibres, woven fabrics of jute, sacks and bags of jute used for packing goods, all kinds of carpets and other textile floor coverings, frogs’ legs, fishes, shrimps and prawns. 

 

 

Source

The News Age 

11-12-2013

 

 

Political unrest, financial crunch hit jute sector

 
 

4 private-owned jute mills closed down

DHAKA, DEC 6: The country’s jute industries, specially the private sector jute mills, are passing through a crucial juncture mainly due to frequent hartal, blockade and political instability which are seriously affecting productions in mills and factories. According to industry sources, about four private jute mills have already closed down their

 operations and declared “lay-off” during the first three months (July-September) of current fiscal and many others are running following the same path. Already hit hard by financial crisis and drastic fall in export, the efficiency of the industry has come down substantially in recent days because of the fresh spell of political programme that affects the production seriously, halts transportation of goods and shipments. Finished products, industry sources said, are stockpiled in many of the mills but they failed make any shipment due to the frequent and non- stop strike and blockade programmes. 

“The authorities have to open the mills, count salaries for the workers but fail to generate any money,” said a high official of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), the apex body of the country’s private mills. “If the situation continues, many of the mills will fall sick and force to close their operations,” said BJMA secretary A Bakir Khan while talking to The Independent adding that most of the mills under BJMA are on the verge of collapse. Many of the mills are contemplating to cut their productions.

Finding it difficult to cope with the situation, the authorities of Pubali Jute Mills at Ghorashal closed down the mill temporarily just a few days ago. Earlier the Mohshain and Ezaz Jute mills in Khulna closed their mills a few months ago. “Many mills are on their way to close down,” said the BJMA secretary urging the government to provide 'blocked account' facilities to the private jute millers against bank loans.

“We are caught in a quagmire as we can neither sell our products nor procure the raw materials as everything were stuck up in the factory because of the stalemate,” said Pubali Jute Mills managing director Kamran T Rahman adding that they could not generate funds required to run the industry. “We have finished products against sale orders but cannot deliver the goods,” said Kamran, also a former chairman of BJMA. 

Of the 130 members of BJMA, some 38 big mills contribute about 70 per cent of the production.  Among the 38 big mills, eight have already been closed down, three laid off, 15 are occasionally operative and only 12 are in operations. They produce mostly the traditional items like hessian, sacking, CBC, and yarn/twin.
Besides EU and USA market, most of the products are exported to the Middle Eastern countries and India and some other Asian African markets. 

But the political crises in Libya, Egypt and Syria and massive depreciation of the Indian rupee led the prices drop substantially over the past one year. The country is also likely to lose the new market at Thailand, for sacking and yarn, because of their political turmoil. Export of jute and jute goods witnessed a negative growth during the first four months (July-October period) in current fiscal. The export of raw jute was heavily affected mainly because of the depreciation of Indian Rupee during the period.  Raw jute fetched only $ 29.69 million in the first four months as against $ 77.13 million during the same period in last fiscal showing a major decline of 61.62 per cent. 
Jute yarn and twine earned $ 134.69 million registering a negative growth of 1.49 per cent. Jute sacks and bags also witnessed a negative growth of 41.96 per cent with an earning of $ 42.61 million.

 

Source

The Independent

07-12-2013

 

 
 

Spl plan of action for ailing jute industry: Mamata

 
 

Charging the Centre with neglecting jute growers, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that her government would take up a special plan of action for the industry.

"There are many jute cultivators here who are neglected. We will formulate a special plan of action for the jute industry," Banerjee told a public meeting here.

Promising to rejuvenate the jute industry in the state, The Chief Minister also said: "If the Centre does not make use of jute bags mandatory for packaging, the state will do it.

10 lakh Jobs could have been possible, but for loans: Mamata

"Had it not been for the huge debt servicing, we could have made provision for 10 lakh jobs to the people of our state," she said

Had it not been for the huge interest being paid to the Centre on loans taken by the erstwhile Left Front government, large-scale employment would have been possible in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today.

"While in 2011-12, the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India took away Rs 21,000 toward debt servicing, in 2012-13 they took Rs 25,000 crore out of Rs 32,000 crore that we earned," she said.

"I am told that this fiscal they will take Rs 28,000 crore," Banerjee said. "Had it not been for the huge debt servicing, we could have made provision for 10 lakh jobs to the people of our state," she said.

She said that she had told the Finance Commission, Finance Minister and the Prime Minister on several occasions that this should be stopped.

"I am reiterating my demand here," she said at the Karnajora ground in the heart of the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency which is held by Union Minister of State for Urban Development Deepa Das Munshi.

Dasmunshi, wife of ailing Congress leader and former union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, has long been critical of the Trinamool Congress supremo and spoke against her even during the alliance between the two parties.

"Why should the Centre punish the government for the misdeeds of the previous government?" Banerjee questioned, blaming the Left Front for leaving a debt burden of around Rs two lakh crore when the Trinamool Congress took over in 2011.

Promising to promote the ailing jute industry in the state, the chief minister said "If the Centre does not make use of jute bags mandatory for packaging, the state will do it.

Source

Business Dairy

02-12-2013

 

 

 

CCEA approved mandatory use of jute in packaging for the jute year 2013-14

 
 

New Delhi: In pursuance of the Jute Packaging Material Act, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved mandatory packaging of 90 percent of the production of foodgrains and 20 percent of the production of sugar in the jute packaging material for the jute year 2013-14 (1st July, 2013 to 30th June, 2014), with the following exemptions: 

 

 

(i) Sugar packed for export, but which could not be exported may be exempted from the operation of the Order on the basis of an assessment by and request of the Department of Food and Public Distribution. For such exemptions, separate guidelines will be prepared. 

 

(ii) The following will be out of the purview of the reservation: 

 

a. Sugar fortified with Vitamins. 

 

b. Packaging for export of the commodities. 

 

c. Small consumer packs of 25 kgs and below. 

 

d. Bulk packaging of more than 100 kgs. 

 

(iii) In case of any shortage or disruption in supply of jute packaging material or in other contingency/exigency, the Ministry of Textiles will, in consultation with user ministries concerned, relax these provisions further, up to a maximum of 30 percent of the production of foodgrains over and above the provisions mentioned above. 

 

The approval will provide relief to 3.7 lakh workers employed in jute mills and ancillary units as well as support the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families. Besides, it will help protect the environment as jute is a natural, biodegradable and reusable fibre. 

 

Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 (JPM Act), the Government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of persons engaged in the production thereof and for matters connected therewith.

 

Source

DishaDiary

28-11-2013

 

 

Bangladesh may lose market in diversified jute products

India investing in new mills, research and development

 
 

Bangladesh is missing out on the opportunity to earn foreign currency from the export of diversified jute products, industry players said. India, on the other hand, is taking advantage of this opportunity by investing in new mills and research and development in line with global demand, they added. “A ban on the use of plastic bags in different countries — from the US to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia — has opened new opportunities to export diversified jute products,” said Rashedul Karim Munna, general secretary of Bangladesh Jute Diversified Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

 

The global demand for shopping bags is estimated to be 500 billion pieces, worth around $500 billion a year, according to International Jute Study Group.

 

The US, Europe and China would be the biggest markets for shopping bags, once the ban on the use of plastic bags would fully come into force in a few years. Local manufacturers and exporters fear they would lose the market to India, as entrepreneurs in the neighbouring country have built factories that are able to produce quality yarn, fabric and diversified products.

 

India exported more than 70 million jute shopping bags in 2012-13, against around 1 million by Bangladesh. Entrepreneurs in India received grants from the government to set up advanced mills to produce diversified jute products, they said. Bangladesh’s manufacturers and exporters said all the governments in the country had paid little attention to develop this sector.


“The cost of producing quality yarn is 40 percent higher in Bangladesh than India because of technological disadvantages,” Munna said. India has set up composite jute mills with modern machinery and technologies to make fabric, dyeing or lamination under one roof, he said. Bangladesh has nearly 250 jute mills, but none with dyeing and lamination facilities, which are essential to producing diversified products.

 

Historically, Bangladesh and a part of India are the main producers of jute accounting for more than 96 percent of the total jute production globally. In 2011, global jute production was 2.86 million tonnes, of which Bangladesh’s share was 1.2 million tonnes.


Once Bangladesh was known as the country of ‘golden fibre’ because of the quality of jute it produced. Jute and jute goods accounted for 90 percent of the country’s total exports in 1972-73. Now, the contribution of this sector to Bangladesh’s export earnings has dropped to less than 5 percent, even though it has more than 95 percent local value addition. Bangladesh exported raw jute and jute goods worth $1.03 billion in fiscal 2012-13 — jute sacks and bags accounted for $237 million and jute yarn and twine over $500 million — according to data from Export Promotion Bureau. In July-October this year, data shows a negative trend in the export of jute sacks and bags — $42.61 million against the target of nearly $93 million for the period.


“India is enjoying the cream of jute diversification. It has quality mills, professionals and designers to produce diversified products,” said Mahmudul Haque, deputy managing director of Janata Jute Mills, one of the two biggest private mills. The largest one is Akij Jute Mills.


“Investing in dyeing and lamination is yet to be feasible in Bangladesh as the market is not so big. An absence of designers is a major concern here too,” Haque said.
The good news is that Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) is set to convert a couple of its mills to produce raw materials to make diversified products instead of traditional ones.
“We are converting Karnaphuli Jute Mills and hope to go for commercial production next month. The world is demanding diversified products and we have to get out of making traditional things,” said Maj Gen Humayun Khaled, chairman of BJMC.

 

Source

The Daily Star

26-11-2013

 

 

 

Output fall, political chaos raise raw jute prices

 
 

Prices of raw jute have increased by 25-30 per cent in local market in the last two weeks, as millers are in a race to store the produce.

Apprehension of its low production and growing political uncertainty inspired the millers to take such a cautious stand, sector insiders said.

Raw jute of different varieties are selling at Tk 1,800-2,200 per maund (Tossa) and Tk 1,300-1,400 (Desi) at different markets in Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari, Shariatpur, Gopalganj, Bogra, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Jessore.

The prices were Tk 1,350-1,800 and Tk 1,050-1,300 per maund respectively two weeks back, said sources.

The prices of jute are slightly higher this year compared to those of the previous year after price debacle in two consecutive seasons - 2011 and 2012. Farmers are able to make profit by selling jute and jute sticks this year.

"Jute prices during the harvest season - from last of August to September - was not satisfactory, considering the farmers' expectation. But the prices are 20 per cent higher compared to those of the previous year," said a jute trader at Pangsha in Rajbari.

He said per maund Tossa variety was sold only at Tk 1,200-1,400 during the harvest period last year, which is Tk 1,400-1,600 at the same time this year.

Price of the best quality Tossa jute, named 'Bogi', is now selling at Tk 2,150-2,200 per maund at different mokams (local market of raw agricultural produces) in Faridpur.

Other Tossa varieties are being sold at Tk 1,800-2,100 per maund across five districts of the greater Faridpur region.

"Apart from lower production, volatile political situation in the country is also forcing millers to procure more jute this season," agents of many millers told the FE.   

Meanwhile, jute production has declined nearly by 40 per cent according to prediction of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Faridpur due to natural disaster and use of depleted seeds.

Acting chairman of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) Md Shahjahan told the FE that that they are facing difficulties in collecting quality jute following a decline in production.

"If the fall in cultivation continues, the cent per cent value added sector will revert to its previous state."

"Considering the farmers' interest, it is a good news that prices of raw jute are rather high this year. But, it is not a good news for the jute millers, as export orders from major destinations are waning," he said.

Export of both raw jute and jute goods to India, China, Thailand and Middle-East has been declining, he said.

He urged the government for reviving the 10 per cent export subsidy facility for the jute spinners in the current fiscal year (FY) from the present 7.5 per cent to help both the millers and farmers.  

A key official at the state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) told the FE that the government's recent declaration to implement 'the mandatory jute packaging act' also has created an additional demand for jute and jute goods.

"Rice millers and traders of other commodities will need approximately 730 million pieces of sacks annually."

"Implementation of the act is a blessing for the industry. But we have to take necessary preparations for supplying jute products as required," he also said.       

However, jute production target has been set at 7.75 million bales at 0.725 million hectares of land in this fiscal, according to the DAE.

An official at the DAE Cash Crop Wing said jute cultivation acreage has slightly increased this year, compared to that in the previous year. But jute production is not satisfactory.

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data showed jute production in FY 13 dropped by 7.09 per cent due to reduced acreage.

In FY 12, jute yield was 7.69 million bales at 0.722 million hectares of land, which reduced to 7.172 million bales at 0.67 million hectares in FY 13, an official at BBS said.

He said price debacle in two consecutive years discouraged the farmers to cultivate jute this season (March-April to August-September).

"Jute production has increased slightly in Rangpur region. But it dropped drastically in the major growing hubs, specifically in Faridpur region. So the mixed trend could cause a reduction in output," he added.  

However, raw jute consumption by the industries has made a record in the last FY despite a slight reduction in export orders for jute and jute goods as well as decline in jute production.

According to the Department of Jute (DoJ) the industry consumed 7.78 million bales of raw jute in FY 13.

 

Source

The Financial Express

22-11-2013

 
 
 

 

Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday extended stay on the state government's notification banning junk food items like chips, snacks like kurkure and biscuits which are part of 25 food items sold in plastic packaging in the state till December 9.

 

Himachal Pradesh has successfully implemented its ban on plastic carry bags and other non-biodegradable products. It had proposed to extend the ban on junk food items with effect from July 1,2013. On Tuesday, a division bench comprising Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Rajiv Sharma directed the petitioner to complete the arguments by December 9 ,which will be the last date for hearing. The petition was filed by Sanyukt Vyapar Mandal Khalini, Indian Biscuits Manufacturers Association, NOIDA, and Haroli Block Industries Associations, Tahliwal Una. OnSeptember 3, the court had stayed the said notification till November 19.

 

On January 10 this year, the court had directed the government to ban the said items in plastic packaging from April 1, but had extended the time limit to implement the orders for three months on the request of the state government. At that time,the government had sought sought additional time to evaluate the possible consequences that may arise as a result of ban on sale of identified food items and the aspects with respect to relocation of workers, the status of loans obtained by local units, machinery and infrastructure etc.

 

Later ,the government had submitted that the immediate impact of ban will be on 6,000 workers directly employed in 270 local units manufacturing products. The time limit granted by the court had expired on June 30 and the government went ahead with ban from July.

 

Source

The Indian Express

19-11-2013

 

 

 

Jute Extravaganza at Alliance Francaise

 
 

Alliance Francaise hosted an exquisite exhibition of jute-made everyday handicrafts at La Galerie from 1st November to November 15. The broad range of items included shoes, handbags, portfolios, table runners, cushion covers, mobile covers, laptop bags, bedcovers, cushion covers and curtains designed by Afsana Asif. The nouveau designs were geared to various consumers and carry eye-catching designs in various colours. They provided a modern fusion of leather, jute and metal baubles that appeared like semi-precious gems. Most of the items are priced above Tk 2,000.


Geeti Ara Safia Chowdury, former Advisor to the Caretaker Government and Chairman, Adcomm Ltd inaugurated the exhibition. She was accompanied by Olivier Latvine, Director, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka. Latvine highlighted the importance of reviving the country’s lost status as the key supplier of the “Golden Fibre” especially on the back of an increasingly hostile reception for synthetic fibre in the modern eco-friendly market place.

 

Afsana Asif, Managing Director of “Dalseana” emphasised her organisation’s commitment to making jute product efficient, cheap and popular. Jute symbolizes tradition and versatility, said Chowdhury and hoped that its popularity would catch up in the world market.

 

Source

The Daily Star

18-11-2013

 

 

Sri Lanka offers land for jute cultivation

 
 

BSS, Colombo

Bangladesh has received a request from Sri Lanka on jute cultivation in its northwestern province Puttalam where Colombo assured of giving long-term lease of lands.

The request came in a meeting between Sri Lankan President. Mohinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Colombo today.

 

Hasina is now in Colombo to attend Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM).The prime minister expressed Bangladesh’s interest in extending cooperation in cultivating unused lands in the down-south and east and producing diversified agri-products like jute, rice, vegetables, etc, PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said while briefing reporters after the meeting.

 

Hasina said considering the shortage of agriculture workers and high costs of agricultural inputs in Sri Lanka, the private sector of Bangladesh may find it attractive to invest in Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector. Both the leaders mentioned similar collaboration in the fisheries sector in the north of Sri Lanka, saying the Bangladesh private sector can restore a huge number of dilapidated waterbodies there for fish culture.The prime minister extended her sincere thanks to the Sri Lankan president for excellent arrangement of the CHOGM and inviting her to the meeting. Azad said both the leaders discussed various issues related to bilateral interests and ways of strengthening cooperation on several areas such as health, culture and education.

 

Hasina said Bangladesh authorities are actively considering a request of President Rajapaksa to donate “Sacred Hair Relic of Lord Buddha” to put the holy symbol on exhibition in Sri Lanka.

 

She said Bangladesh has always been consistent in supporting Sri Lanka’s fight against terrorism and insurgency. “Bangladesh views end of armed conflict as a welcome development for entire region,” she said.

 

Extending congratulations on holding provincial council election in the Northern Province after 25 years, the prime minister opined that it could be the beginning of Tamils’ participation in the country’s political process. She expressed her firm conviction that greater efforts towards political settlement and reconciliation would lay the foundation of trust and confidence- building among communities and minority groups and enquired about Sri Lankan plans towards reconciliation initiatives.

 

President Rajapaksa thanked Hasina for attending the CHOGM-2013 despite her extreme preoccupation at home due to the next general elections.

 

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Ambassador-At-Large M Ziauddin and Principal Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid-uz-Zaman and Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad were present.

 

Later, the prime minister in a meeting with her New Zealand counterpart John Key at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall expressed the hoped that the Commonwealth would advocate and promote the interests of developing countries.

 

She also hoped that the CHOGM-2013 could be an important input to the ongoing international discourse on post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

Hasina opined that the Commonwealth needs to remain engaged with Fiji in the coming years as it looks forward to election in September 2014.

 

The Bangladesh premier also called for continued engagement of the good offices of the Commonwealth secretary general with the Maldives for consolidation of democratic institutions in this country.

Source

The Daily Star

15-11-2013

 

 

 
 

Rescue package for jute sector

 
 

Jute, once known as the golden fibre, now faces a grim future. This time the external shocks have wreaked havoc on all efforts to revive its past glory. The raw jute exporters, according to a report in the FE last Monday (November 11), have pleaded for a rescue package for them. The exporters have suggested to the Finance Minister to keep Tk 2.5 billion on account of outstanding bank interest charges in a blocked account for 10 years so that they could get fresh loans. The interest charges on outstanding bank credits for some 300 exporters, had accumulated with banks over a decade. The interest and principal amount owed to different state-owned and private banks totalled about Tk 10 billion. The money had accumulated due to fall in raw jute prices which deteriorated further due to devaluation of currencies in the recent period.  The Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) in its demand said the accumulated interests may be transferred to 'Blocked Account' in banks.

 

Jute had seen some good days in the last few years. But it now faces hard times due to political turmoil in the Middle East and the global recession. Thousands of jute growers and employees in the jute sector have already started feeling the pinch with the fall in prices of both raw jute and jute goods. The prices of jute goods have fallen by 20 per cent in the international market. In the coming days, the situation may further worsen. A vast number of people of this land are directly or indirectly involved in various activities related to jute and jute manufacturing. Most of them are farmers who are engaged in its cultivation. There are also about 0.3 million skilled workers who are directly associated with the manufacturing process. Besides, about 0.2 million people are directly engaged in trading of jute, jute goods, transportation and other related business.

 

In this context, the demand for an urgent rescue package for the ailing jute sector merits consideration. Ninety per cent of the jute yarn produced at home are used in manufacturing carpets which are, by and large, luxury items. As the recession has seriously affected the Euro zone and the main jute-buying countries like Egypt and Syria are experiencing unrest, the demand for yarn has fallen significantly. Moreover, due to appreciation of the dollar against the Indian rupee, the Indian buyers, too, are not showing interest in buying raw jute. India is the largest buyer of raw jute from Bangladesh. Raw jute production has substantially declined in the past two years. Besides, there was a 21 per cent fall in exports of jute goods in the last fiscal year. The trickle-down effect of the fall in prices of raw jute is resulting in severe miseries for the jute growers. Bangladesh produces around 1.26 million tonnes of raw jute annually, of which 0.86 million tonnes are for the local market and 0.30 million tonnes are exported.

It is now time for the government to strictly enforce a law that imposes a moratorium on use of plastic bags to pack grains making the use of jute sacks mandatory. All private rice millers and traders need to use up their stock of plastic bags by December 31 next, as directed earlier. The decision is expected to boost the use of the eco-friendly product locally and provide the jute industry a cushion against fluctuations in global demand.

 

 

Source

The Finanalcial Express

14-11-2013

 

 

 

 

Import of raw jute rises as local production falls

 
 

BIRATNAGAR, Nov 11: Jute factories in eastern Nepal have been sourcing raw jute from countries like India and Bangladesh as local production of this cash crop is decreasing with each passing year.

According to Nepal Jute Mills Association (NJMA), local production can meet only around 20 percent of the demand. If jute mills in the country are to operate to their full capacity, they consume around 100,000 tons of jute a year. Annual production of raw jute hovers around 18,000 tons.

“Jute mills in Sunsari-Morang industrial corridor are not operating to their full capacity because of the shortage of raw materials. They are utilizing only around 60 percent of their installed capacity,” Rajkumar Golchha, president of the NJMA, told Republica. “Most of the mills in the corridor are importing raw jute from India.”

 

The demand for raw jute increased further after Biratnagar Jute Mill recently resumed operation after a hiatus of five years. Arihant Multi-Fibers - the largest jute mill in the corridor - alone consumes around 75-100 tons of jute every day.

 

Though industrialists and farmers have been putting pressure on the government to promote jute farming, the government has been turning deaf ear to their demands, according o the officials of NJMA.


Shyam Paudel, general manager of Biratnagar Jute Mills, said the government should come up with fresh incentives to encourage more farmers toward jute farming. “Earlier, Nepal used to export raw jute to India and Bangladesh. The situation has become opposite now,” he added.

Industrialists say Nepal"s raw jute production is declining because of the primitive farming method which is costly. As the rate of return is low, many farmers have stopped jute farming and started cultivation of other crops which give better yields. According to Trade and Export Promotion Center, Nepal imported raw jute worth Rs 2.3 billion in fiscal year 2012/13. There are 10 jute mills in Sunsari-Morang industrial corridor. They employ more than 20,000 workers.

 

Source

The Nepal News

11-11-2013

 

 

 

PMO seeks clarification from Textile min on jute bags dilution

 
 

The ministry had recommended using plastic bags for packing 80% sugar, replacing jute bags

 

The Prime Minister’s office (PMO) has sought clarification from the Union textile ministry on the use of plastic bags for packing sugar for 2013-14.The ministry had recommended using plastic bags for packing 80% sugar, replacing jute bags. The PMO is keen to know the reason for such relaxation when there is a built in provision for using 30% plastic bags in case of emergency. The textile ministry is also required to inform the PMO on the amount of relaxation offered to plastics for packing sugar and food grains in 2012-13 and the extent to which the relaxation was utilized in absolute numbers as well as per cent terms.

The PMO has raised these questions in a note sent to the textiles ministry on October 25. The jute industry has been crying hoarse for a long time that the ministry was not doing enough to implement the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) 1987 properly. JPMA provides for 100 per cent reservation of sugar and food grains in jute bags by government procurement agencies. The sugar lobby led by plastic manufacturers have approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against jute millers and gunny traders. They have alleged manipulation and price rigging by the jute industry and accused the industry of violating monopoly norms. CCI had sent probe notices to 16 jute mills.

In 2012-13, the ministry had recommended use of plastic bags for packing 60% sugar and 10 per cent food grains. For the current fiscal, similar optional recommendations have also been made by the ministry. The jute industry is opposing the move. The National Fibre Policy of 2011 had recommended phasing out of JPMA in the next 15 years, or by the 14th Plan period (2022-27).

 

Almost 40 per cent of jute bags produced is purchased by the Union food ministry through Food Corporation of India (FCI) on behalf of different state food procuring agencies. The jute sector has the capacity to manufacture around 1.2 million tonne of jute bags. The installed capacity is around 1.5 million tonne.

 

In 2011, the jute industry had approached the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to refrain sugar mills from using plastic bags. On CAG’s advice, the Central law ministry instructed the competent authority to initiate police action against erring sugar mills. Until now, no action had been taken as the government is yet to identify the competent authority. Sugar mills had been found to be biggest flouters of JPMA. Until 2011-12, the violation was close to 70 per cent. As per Section 9 of JPMA, any user violating the Act is liable to be fined and prosecuted as it is a 'cognizable’ offence. A number of state food agencies like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have already placed orders for supply of plastic bags to pack food grains in kharif and Rabi season of 2013-14 and 2014-15. The total volume of jute trade is valued at around Rs 12,000 crore out of which government purchase is in the region of Rs 5500 crore.  

 

Source

The Business Standard

08-11-2013

 

 

Waste management trashes plastic bag ban

 
 

by Peter Criscione

Peel Region’s waste management committee has finally weighed in on Mississauga’s potential ban on plastic shopping bags, about a year after staff was directed to study the issue and report back with a recommendation. 

 

During yesterday's waste management committee meeting, members supported a staff recommendation against banning plastic bags.

 

The report comes about 12 months after the City of Mississauga, considering such a ban, decided to forward the matter to the regional level for further research and a point of view.

 

Staff presented a few arguments against banning plastic bags, including such a move would reduce convenience and choice for shoppers and potentially affect 180 bag companies located in Ontario that employ 11,000 people.

 

In addition, a ban could see the region and its municipalities locked in legal troubles, similar to what unfolded when the City of Toronto proposed its own ban last year.

Marion Axmith, a consultant speaking on behalf of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association,  asked waste management committee to support the stance against a ban.

 

“We ask that the waste management committee accept the staff recommendation,” Axmith said. “We would also like to commend staff on a measured, balanced and thorough analysis. The report looks at the triple bottom line, not just the environmental component. It also looks at important issues that are often overlooked in the bag debate, such as the social and economic importance.”

 

With waste management committee’s backing, the recommendation will now move to regional council for approval.

 

Norman Lee, Peel’s director of waste management, said staff took a year to come up with the recommendation because the issue isn’t a top priority. Peel has embarked on a massive overhaul of its waste management division and there are currently other, more pressing matters to take care of like development of a new incinerator.

 

Plus, staff wanted to see how the legal challenge played out in Toronto before settling on a plan of action, Lee said.

 

Toronto council approved a ban of plastic shopping bags starting Jan. 1, 2013. That proposal generated considerable backlash from retailers and the plastics industry, which collectively brought a court action against the city.

 

The challenge ultimately led to a court-approved agreement and removal of the proposed ban. Thursday’s staff report essentially advises Peel to avoid getting locked into a legal tussle.

 

It argues public environmental education, and the introduction of a 5-cent plastic bag fee in many grocery retail outlets, have been effective in reducing plastic shopping bag usage across the province. A large number of Peel residents re-use plastic shopping bags for waste disposal or place them in the blue box for recycling.

 

Through litter audits, Peel says plastic bags still makes up less than one per cent of litter by volume and film plastic makes up 0.9 per cent of waste sent to landfill by weight. About 862 tonnes of film plastic was recovered and sold in 2012.

 

Source

The Metroland Media

08-11-2013

  

 

‘Exotic Jute II’ woos huge visitors every day

 
 

Enamul Hassan

 

Exotic Jute II’, an exhibition of diversified jute products being held at La Galerie of Alliance Fran�aise de Dhaka, pulls huge visitors every day.Visitors from across the city, especially the students of different fine arts institutions, flocked to the show on Saturday, the third day of the 15-day event.

 

Dalsanea, a leading fashion designing house of the country, has organised the exhibition to showcase the jute products of its Managing Director and CEO Afsana Asif.


Earlier, Former adviser to a Caretaker Government Geeteara Safia Choudhury inaugurated the show at a gala opening ceremony as chief guest on Friday.

 

 

President of Women Entrepreneurs Association Sabrina Islam attended the ceremony as guest of honour while Director of Alliance Fran�aise de Dhaka Olivier Litvine presided over the programme.



The exhibition of jute made products is going to be held to raise awareness for a clean, green yet stylish nation and contribute to the revival process of the country’s jute industry.


Everyday products that people tend to see on a constant basis or use frequently will be put at the exhibition.

Dalsanea was established by Afsana Asif, a talented entrepreneur operating in the Bangladeshi fashion arena. The unique fashion boutique house is a virtual one as it does not have an outlet.

The house believes that jute often connotes tradition. Though it is regarded as environment-friendly, it is seldom perceived as an object of design elegance.The fashion designer opens the horizon for today’s consumers in offering a wide variety of jute-made products such as curtains, bed sheets, table runners, cushion covers, mobile covers, laptop bags, purses and a combination of other goods. The organisers do so with style - in tune with today’s fashion, using the innovation in jute diversified products.

 

The exhibition will amaze visitors by these stylishly-diversified jute products which come in many various eye-catching designs catering to the tastes of different consumers, bringing forth a modern fusion.

 

The golden fibre not only amazes with their elegance but it also helps fighting pollution, unlike the production of synthetic fibers, these products do not pollute.
The products including backpacks, handbags, purses, mobile covers, laptop bags, pencil boxes, wallets, bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains sets, table cloths, table runners and dining sets will be put on display at the exhibition.

 

The exhibition is open from 3:00pm to 9:00pm on working days and from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 5:00pm to 8:00pm on holidays until November 15.

 

Source

The Daily Sun

04-11-2013

 

 

EXOTIC JUTE II

 
 

On November 1, an elegant show of diversified jute products titled ‘Exotic Jute II’, presented by Afsana Asif, managing director and CEO, Dalsanea began in the La Galerie, Alliance Fran�aise de Dhaka (AFD). Geeteara Safia Choudhury, former advisor to the Caretaker Government and chairman, Adcomm Ltd inaugurated the exhibition as the chief guest. She was then accompanied by Olivier Litvine, director, AFD and talented woman entrepreneur and designer Afsana Asif. Olivier Litvine in his speech termed jute as the golden fibre of the Bengal.  Way back in mid 19th century, the then East Bengal became world’s prime producer for this unique fibre.  As the world is getting increasingly eco-conscious, synthetic fibres are no longer accepted as it was previously used to be which will certainly help in the revival of jute in the process of finding new markets as it is relatively cheaper but a strong natural fibre.

 

Afsana Asif reiterated her firm commitment to work for the branding of diversified jute products in the global market.  She hopes to continue her struggle to bring more artistic talents from the underprivileged citizens of the society into limelight as well as creating employment opportunity to ensure a healthy life in the years to come. Terming jute as a signature product of Bangladesh, Geeteara Safia Choudhury in her speech praised highly of the entrepreneur Afsana Asif for her excellent efforts behind popularising the jute products for local as well as global market. She said that the Eco friendliness of jute products ensures our environment to be safe and not harmed as against synthetic products. She also urged the Bangladeshis to take pride in using jute products as the entire world has already started craving for jute. Dalsanea organises the exhibition on the Jute made products aiming to raise awareness for a clean, green yet stylish nation and also contribute to the revival process of the jute industry in Bangladesh. This will be done by introducing everyday products that people tend to see on a constant basis or use frequently. Jute often connotes tradition. Though it is regarded as an environment-friendly.

 

it is seldom perceived as an object of design elegance. Using the innovation in jute diversified Products, Dalsanea opens the horizon for today’s consumers in offering a wide variety of jute-made products such as curtains, bed sheets, table runners, cushion covers, mobile covers, laptop bags, purses and a combination of other goods, and it does so with style - in tune with today’s fashion. These products also come in many various eye-catching designs that cater for the tastes of different consumers, bringing forth a modern fusion. You will be amazed by these stylishly diversified jute products. Not only do these products out of the fabled ‘golden fibre’ amaze with their elegance, but they also help fighting pollution. Unlike the production of synthetic fibres, these products do not pollute. The products on display include backpacks, handbags, purses, mobile cover, laptop bags, files / folders, pencil boxes/ bags, wallets, bed sheets / covers, pillow covers, curtains sets, table cloths, table runners, dining sets etc.

 

‘Exotic Jute II’ is the second exhibition of the talented woman entrepreneur and designer Afsana Asif. Her first exhibition was organized in September last year at the same venue which ended with a very high note. The exhibition will be open to all until November 15 in La Galerie, AFD from Mondays to Thursdays (3 to 9 pm), Fridays and Saturdays (9 am to12 noon and 5 to 8 pm), except for Sundays.

 

Source

The Independent

04-11-2013

 
 

Jute and the denim dream of Bangladesh

 
 

Iftu Ahmed

Jute is a natural long, soft and shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong thread. It is the second only to cotton in terms of cultivation and usage. For its golden and silky shine, jute is known as the "Golden Fibre of Bangladesh." It is produced from jute plants. To Europe, jute cloth is known as "Hessian," while "Burlap" in North America.

 

Jute is the pride of Bangladesh and a valuable item in the export basket. It is one of the main cash crops of Bangladesh that generates foreign income and helps develop the country's socio-economic infrastructures.

 

Over 85 per cent of the world's jute is cultivated in the Ganges Delta. Being part of it, Bangladesh became the world's largest producer of raw jute. More than 90 per cent of the world's raw jute is being exported from Bangladesh. On the other hand, India is the world's largest jute products producer as well as consumer. Apart from Bangladesh and India, China, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Sudan and Egypt are the world's other jute producing nations.

 

In the ancient times, jute was cultivated in Africa and Asia. Asian Bengalis were known as the "Users of Jute Ropes and Twines" for their household and other purposes. Chinese paper makers would use jute plant as an element alongside hemp, silk and cotton for making papers.

 

In the medieval period, it is known from Ain-e-Akbari written by Abul Fazal in 1590, the historian of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1542-1605), the poor villagers of India used to wear clothes which were made of jute.

 

Amartya Sen, the native of Bangladesh and the citizen and Nobel laureate in economics of India, said: "In the eighteenth century, Adam Smith (1723-1790), the famous Scottish economist, held Bengal as one of the richest heritages of the world. As a result, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and the Danish alongside many other Europeans used to come to Bengal for production, trade and business purposes."

In that era, Mymensingh was known for jute growing and its business in the world. The Europeans and the Englishmen who were involved with the jute business in Mymensingh used to play football with the Mymensingh Mohammedan Sporting Club. At that time European sporting clubs existed in Mymensingh except only the local Mohammedan Sporting Club which was established in 1898.

 

Jute has been an integral part of culture of Bangladesh along with the whole Bengal and Indian sub-continent for centuries. It is such a kind of economic resource that has been given to mankind by nature. Unfortunately, at the end of 1970, the U.S. and the other countries introduced the plastic shopping bags that harmed jute businesses around the globe. As a result, many jute mills of Bangladesh were shut down, people were unemployed and farmers switched from jute to more profitable rice cultivation.

Today's world is facing the environmental pollution which is one of the most serious problems of the century. Air, water and soil all are harmed by pollution and they need to be healed for the survival of all living beings. Air pollution causes harm to human health, plants and even weather. Water pollution limits fresh drinking water and claims human, wild and marine lives. Soil pollution reduces the amount of land available for growing food. Environmental pollution also brings ugliness to our natural beauty.

 

Due to cheap, lightweight, functional, hygienic means of carrying food and other goods, plastic bags have been so popular to both retailers and consumers in the world of today that it seems we are unable to stop the use of plastic bags despite those being harmful to our environment. Imagine that the US alone uses a hundred billion plastic bags every year and the number of the rest of the world would be staggering!

Plastic bags' pollution is a threat to our ecosystems, because they are responsible for causing soil, water and air pollution.  Plastic manufacturing uses valuable mineral resources and has a negative impact on carbon emission. Plastics are non-biodegradable and contain petroleum products. When they are burned, they infuse toxic fume into the air and cause air pollution.

 

Billions of plastic bags are used once and thrown away just to litter the landscape and clog drains, sewers, seas, rivers, waterways, parks, beaches, and streets, and also cause global warming.

 

So, plastic harms the earth. On the other hand, jute bags are eco-friendly because jute is totally biodegradable. When burned, jute generates no toxic fume.  Jute is a fast growing crop with a much higher carbon dioxide assimilation rate than trees. One hectare of jute plants consumes over 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide which are several times higher than trees.

 

Jute is a vegetable fibre composed of cellulose which is the main building material of all plants and totally decomposes putting valuable nutrients back into soil. Jute plants increase soil fertility when grown in rotation with other food crops while being a barrier to disease and pests. That is why the cultivation of jute in combination with other corps can restore soil fertility, because jute adds vital nitrogen and organic matters to the soil. Geotextile, a diversified jute product, is used for soil-erosion control.

 

Besides, jute is a rain-fed natural organic crop which is grown without the need of chemicals. So, jute bags and other jute products are strong, trendy and reusable and save the earth.

 

Purchasing jute products mean to help our biosphere. Western consumers have realised the importance of echo-friendly and biodegradable jute bags and other jute products, the demand for which is soaring day by day with the level of environmental awareness rising both in developed and developing countries. As a result, jute business is booming now. It is good news for Bangladesh that the jute business is again flourishing in the world.

 

The Bangladesh government can take overall development programmes on jute bags and other jute products. The government must ensure higher profits from jute. The fair price of jute will help farmers grow more jute in Bangladesh.

 

The demand in the global denim market is very high. The scientists of Bangladesh are working on a smart project to blend jute fabric with cotton to produce denim fabric which can bring down the demand for cotton in the country. If Bangladesh can produce denim fabric economically and commercially, it would have a huge impact on the country's economy. Sophisticated machines as well as hardware are required to fulfill Bangladesh's denim dream. The Bangladesh government can take initiatives through the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) to introduce the business of denim fabric in the country and the world.

 

Source

The Financial Express

31-10-2013

 

 

Export to India drops by 29pc in Q1 despite RMG rise

 
 

Export to India declined by 29.42 per cent to $91.75 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year from that of $129.99 million in the same period of the FY 2012-13 due to deprecation of the rupee against the US dollar, exporters and experts said.


The Export Promotion Bureau data showed that the export of readymade garments to the neighbouring country increased in the period, but the export of fruits and fruit products, fish and jute and jute products decreased drastically. EPB vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose said the overall demand in India decreased due to the devaluation of the rupee against the US dollar which reflected on the export of Bangladesh to the country. ‘On the other hand, we are discouraging export of any raw product including jute. So the export of jute and jute products to India has declined.’ In a bid to diversify products and markets, the government is encouraging exporters for value addition as the process also generates employment, Shubhashish added. Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director Mustafizur Rahman, however, said that not the depreciation of the rupee but the slowdown of economic growth of India was the key reason for the decrease in the Bangladeshi export to the country. ‘The Indian economy witnessed a slowdown of growth that impacted on the overall demand in the country,’ he told New Age. The export of fish and fish products in the first quarter of FY 2013-14 decreased to $67,302 from that of $2.4 million in the same period of the last fiscal year as the fish export to India was suspended in August through the Akhaura land port. Indian businessmen were reluctant to import fish due to declining value of the rupee against the dollar. The export of vegetable, textile fibres nes, paper yarn, and woven fabric in the first quarter of FY 2013-14 dropped to $11.10 million from that of $18.86 million in the same period of last year.

 

Jute and jute products worth $111.75 million were exported to the neighbouring country in the first quarter of the FY 2013-14 while the export of the same items in the same period of FY 2012-13 was $340.82 million in worth. Exporters Association of Bangladesh president Abdus Salam Murshedi said the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar was the main reason for the drop in the Bangladeshi export to India. Despite economic slowdown, readymade garments export to India has increased as there is a huge demand for Bangladeshi garments, he said.


The export of readymade garments to India in the first quarter increased to $30.90 million against $21.79 million in the same period of last fiscal year.

 

Source

The New Age

30-10-2013

 

 

 

Jute farmers mitigate losses by selling stocks in Jhenidah

 
 

Jhenidah, Oct 29: The Jute growers of Jhenidah are mitigating their losses by selling stalks as the demand for the same is on the rise. Hossen Ali, a jute cultivator of Chutliya village of sadar upazila, said he cultivated jute in one acre of land. He incurred loss of about Tk 3,600 by selling jute; but he earned Tk 3,250 by selling stalks. So it helped him much for the next Boro season. Asma Khatun of Bishoikhali Bazaar said jute stalk is the most popular firewood in the area. Rashid Mia, a cultivator, said to the correspondent that they get Tk 750-1,000 by selling jute stalks of one bigha in the local market. He added, clean and light colour jute stalks get higher price because these are used for making various types of fence for houses, kitchens and doors in the area after the rainy season. After visiting Khalishpur bazaar and Zinnanogor bazaar of Moheshpur upazila, Borobazaar and Gazir bazaar of Kaliganj upazila, Sabdalpur bazaar and Elangi bazaar of Kotchandpur upazila, Tular bazaar and Chulkanir bazaar of Harinakundu upazila, Sheikhpara bazaar and Vatoi bazaar of Shoilokupa upazila, Modhupur bazaar and Goalpara bazaar of Jhenidah sadar upazila it was found that at least 7-12 jute stalk laden trucks were going to various destinations as Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barishal, Sylhet, Panchagarh, Rangamati, bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangpur every day from these places. Deputy Director of Jhenidah District Agriculture Extension Department (DAE) Joynul Abedin said jute stalks has a huge demand in all over the country. But due to the negligence of farmers a large quantity of jute stalk is wasted every year. If they stock it properly they can earn extra Tk 1200-1300 by selling it in peak season and mitigate their losses. On the other hand, demand for jute stalk is increasing everyday as various types of handcrafts are made with it.

 

 

Source

The Independent

30-10-2013

 

 

 

28 corporations owe Tk 92.25 billion to banks: Muhith

 

 
 

Submitted by Hisham Bin Mustafa

Finance minister AMA Muhith told parliament on Sunday that 28 corporations owed a total of Tk 92.2525 billion to different banks of the country as of July 31 last, reports UNB.

 

Of them, Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation - Tk 25.0298 billion; Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation - Tk 23.1561 billion; Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation - Tk 16.8295 billion; Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation ­- Tk 13.6927 billion; and Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation - Tk 5.3789 billion.

 

The minister came up with the figures replying to a question of Nasrin Jahan Ratna (women seat-42). Muhith informed the House that the concerned banks have already taken initiatives to realise the dues from the corporations.

 

In some cases, banks have already filed cases against the corporations to realise their dues, he said. Responding to question of Moazzem Hossain Ratan, the Finance Minister said there were 3,357,519 TIN holders across the country till September 30 last.

 

"However, there are some duplicate TIN holders among them. Hence, TIN-cleansing is now underway and we'll know the exact number of TIN holders by December this year on completion of the TIN cleansing task."

 

He said there were a total of 519,321 E-TIN holders till October 2, 2013. Of them, 96,248 are fresh taxpayers.

 

 

Source

The Priyo news

07-10-2013

 
 

Jute exports fetch Tk 53.83cr

 
 

 

Alimuzzaman

 

The country exported raw jute worth Tk 53.83 crore in the first two months of the current financial year (July-August 2013-14). The country fetched the said amount of foreign exchange by exporting 73,997 bales of raw jute to different countries, mostly to Pakistan and China, during the period, data released by Department of Jute (DoJ) showed.

During the period, the country exported raw jute worth Tk 13.83 crore to Pakistan, Tk 6.13 crore to India, Tk 22.55 crore to China, Tk 1.24 crore to Vietnam, Tk 6.33 crore to Cuba, Tk 3.12 crore to Russia, Tk 0.63 crore to Nepal. Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) has set a target for exporting 7.0 million bales of raw jute during this fiscal year (2013-2014). But the association cannot achieve their desired goal of earning foreign exchange from the sector because of slow pace of export this year due to numerous reasons, BJA secretary told daily sun on Monday.

A total of 19,431 bales of raw jute were exported to Pakistan, while 8,303 bales to India, 31,392 bales to China, 1,680 bales to Vietnam, 7,875 bales to Cuba, 4,481 bales to Russia, 835 bales to Nepal, 7,875 bales of raw jute were exported to Cuba in July-August of 2013-14 fiscal.

Country’s raw jute is usually exported through Mongla and Chittagong sea ports, Benapole and Banglabandh land ports. Around 30,819 and 34,040 bales of raw jute were exported through Mongla and Chittagong sea ports respectively while raw jute exports through Benapole and Banglabandh land ports were 8,303 and 835 bales respectively till August this year.

M Quiyum, Secretary of the BJA, however, said the country might not be able to meet the target of raw jute export set for this year as the international buyers have been importing raw jute slowly.

BJA has been exporting raw jute through 30 raw jute exporting companies to seven countries across the globe. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Jute Marketing Company (BJMC), the Bangladesh Jute Marketing Association (BJMA) and the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) are exporting finished jute products in different countries across the globe, the BJA said.

 

 

Source

The Daily Sun

22-10-2013

 

BJMC set to become a losing entity again

 
 

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) is going to become a loss-making organisation once again due to lack of proper policy support, said experts.

 

Industry players and analysts blamed inefficient management, appointment of too many labourers and showing of too much courage in reopening the closed mills for this, saying that the moves pushed up their expenditure to a much higher level than their income.

The state-owned jute mills made a net profit of Tk 195 million for the first time of its history in fiscal year (FY) 2010-2011 after 29 years, which created a ray of hope over the fate of those mills.

But after that the organisation has been continuing to incur losses. It incurred losses to the tune of Tk 3.20 billion in the FY 2012-13. It also made a significant amount of losses in the first three months of the ongoing FY, said a BJMC official without disclosing the figures.

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) senior research fellow Khondaker Golam Moazzem said BJMC is about to go back to its earlier status because of lack of proper policy support.

He said after the present government had come to power it took up a good policy including appointment of skilled manpower to establish the BJMC as a profitable organisation.


But they did not continue the strategy and appointed unskilled manpower on political consideration.

The decision to reopen the old mills without pre-evaluation was another fault which increased the expenditure instead of enhancing profit. Besides, the number of labourers was not reduced despite there being more workers than necessary.

The CPD researcher fellow also said the government has not yet implemented the mandatory jute packaging act which has a negative impact on public and private jute mills.

Mr Moazzem suggested taking a proper policy including hand-over of sick mills to the private sector for making them capable of going for adequate production.

 

Private jute goods exporters said BJMC failed to explore potentiality of foreign markets as it has no proper research work to promote Bangladeshi jute bags in the international arena.

They said it should appoint efficient people who have necessary knowledge about market promotion. BJMC marketing director Abu Sayeed said because of economic recession in Europe and the Middle East crises, export of jute products has declined in the ongoing fiscal year.

He said the demand of hessian cloth and carpet backing cloth has fallen in those areas. India also is not purchasing jute bags due to depreciation of its rupee against dollar.

Due to implementation of wage commission award of 2009, the expenditures of state-owned mills have increased, the BJMC director added. Mr Sayed, however, expressed hope that after implementation of the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010 the earning will increase significantly.

According to official figures, the government jute mills exported 177,000 tonnes of jute products worth Tk 13.63 billion in FY 2012-13 which is up from 128,103 tonnes worth Tk 10.58 billion in FY 2011-2012.

 

A total of 18 jute mills are now in operation in the country under the BJMC.

 

 

Source

The Financial Express

22-10-2013

 

 

Export earnings from raw jute dwindle

 
 

Author / Source: ZIAUR RAHMAN

 

DHAKA, Oct 20: Exports of the country’s jute sector have faced severe setbacks in recent weeks as export earnings from the sector have declined by more than 52 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal (2013-14).

 

Jute exports, according to sources, have declined considerably because of a dull international market and the steep fall of India’s rupee against the dollar, which pushed up the neighbouring nation’s import costs. The export orders for jute and jute goods fell drastically, both in traditional markets (Iran, Syria, Jordan) and new markets (Ghana, Thailand) because of various reasons.


According to data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country earned a total amount of USD 205.52 million by exporting jute and jute goods during the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal as against USD 251.19 million during the same period in the last fiscal, registering a negative growth of 18.18 per cent. The figure is also 26 per cent less than the strategic target of USD 277.72 million fixed for the period.

 

The country experienced a serious setback in case of exports of raw jute, which registered a negative growth of 52.96 per cent during the period as against the earnings during the same period in the last fiscal. The amount is USD 24.97 million as against USD 53.08 million during the same period in the last fiscal year. India is one of the key markets for Bangladesh’s jute and jute goods, which account for about USD 330 million annually. But the continuous depreciation of the Indian rupee has discouraged imports. Last month, the rupee slumped to a record low of INR 68.89 against the US dollar, a 25 per cent fall in value since the year began. Jute exports to India are being seriously affected as a result of these price differences.


A dull international market pulled down both the volume and value of raw jute exports this year. Sources said the export figures went down because buyers from a number of countries were very reluctant to buy raw jute this year.

 

The continuous depreciation of the Indian rupee has also put India at an advantageous position in the international market as it can offer its own products at a cheaper rate, thereby putting heavy pressure on Bangladesh’s products.India, according to sources, offers USD 90 per 100 pieces of sacks against Bangladesh’s rate of USD 105 in the international market, which attracts foreign buyers, including Thailand, one of the largest jute good importers. The Thai government recently made it mandatory to use jute bags in packaging rice. The demand for raw jute from China and Pakistan was also low this year. Exporters said raw jute exports declined as China imported lower amounts of jute this year compared to the previous fiscal.

 

Private sector exporters also blamed difficulties associated with the payment realisation mechanism with Iran apart from the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar for affecting the export of jute goods to Iran and India, the two major destinations for jute exports. “The ongoing economic sanctions on Iran and Syria have also hurt jute exports in those countries, as buyers are unable to pay because of the shortage of international currencies and difficulties in making payments,” said an exporter. Export earnings from jute sacks and bags, however, also went down significantly this year, registering a negative growth of 28.70 per cent over the same period last year. According to the EPB, the country earned USD 39.98 million in the July-September period against USD 56.07 million during the same period last fiscal.


The earnings are also 43.56 per cent below the strategic target fixed by the government for the period. The target was USD 70.80 million for the period.

 

Export earnings from jute yarn and twine also decreased by 1.49 per cent during the period. The EPB calculated that an amount of USD 126.94 million was received against the exports of jute yarn and twine this year. The earnings were recorded at USD 128.86 million during the same period last fiscal. The government fixed a target of USD 1.163 billion earnings from the sector at the end of this fiscal against the total earning of USD 1.030 billion from the sector in the previous fiscal (2012-13). The jute sector, sources said, is passing through a crucial time as the markets in the Middle East have been shrinking amid sanctions against Iran by the Western nations and the protracted political turmoil in Syria and Egypt. The Eurozone recession, too, has had an impact. “Uncertainty over demand for jute prevails in the global market. Buyers who had earlier placed orders for six months have reduced their purchase volumes to meet short-term demand,” said Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) secretary A. Barik Khan.

 

Source

The Independent

21-10-2013

 

 

Get weaving: Forgotten skill kept alive by Forfar project

 
 

The project has led to young people taking pride in their weaving heritage

 

Thousands of people used to work in the linen and jute mills of Angus and Dundee but today it is largely consigned to the history books. Now a youth project in Forfar is introducing the almost forgotten skill of weaving to young people - and it is having the unexpected effect of improving community relations.

 

From the 19th century thousands of men, women and children were employed in weaving - on hand looms and then in the factories.  At its height, in the late 19th century, Dundee boasted about 60 jute mills and more than 50,000 workers were employed by the city's jute industry.

 

Today weaving has almost completely disappeared. But this project is about much more than just remembering how it used to be, according to Dawn Mullady, the project worker at The Pitstop in Forfar. She says. "We have many generations working together on the project, which is unbelievably fantastic.

 

"The joy of the project is that young people's eyes light up when the older generation come in to teach. "The older generation's eyes light up when they see the enthusiasm of the young people, so it's a win-win situation and it's a fantastic way of documenting what Forfar weavers' lifestyles were."

 

Thousands of people used to employed in the weaving industry. Twenty-one-year-old Adele Douglas learns all about the intricacies of weaving at the Pitstop project.

 

She says it is "magical"."I look at the older generation and think 'were you a weaver?," she says. "Was that woman a weaver or does she walk like a weaver or talk like a weaver? "I always think of that because it's them that made the history with weaving, we're just learning.

 

"We could pass it down to our kids and our kids could probably pass it down to their kids. Yeah, I always think of the older generation differently now."

Rab McMonagle has worked in the weaving industry for 34 years.

 

He says: "When I started I was doing jute. I worked in the finishing department. I worked in the weaving department and then I went back to the finishing department."  He now also helps teach the young people at The Pitstop project. Ron Scrimgeour is a member of the Nine Trades of Dundee.

 

He is keen to keep the weaving heritage alive through work with projects like this.

He says: "The whole area - Angus and Dundee - had thousands and thousands of people working in the mills, and, largely because it was considered an inferior trade, people kind of kept quiet about it.

 

"Whereas people are now discovering that their grannies were weavers or spinners or winders and they're taking a pride in that.

 

"And that's actually a major achievement for the weaver craft, that's one of the things that we like to do, is to keep the traditions and the heritage going."

 

Source

The BBC News

20-10-2013

 

 

 

MSP for jute to be around Rs 2,350-2,400 for 2014-15

 

 

 

Estimated 9.5-10 million bales of raw jute expected to be produced this year

The minimum support price ( MSP) of jute for the marketing season 2014-15 is expected to be in the range of RS 2,350-2,400 per quintal, a marginal rise over last year’s MSP of RS 2,300 per quintal.

According to official sources, the MSP for the crop had witnessed a sharp correction in 2012-13, when it was raised by 31% to Rs 2,200 per quintal. Therefore this year’s MSP will aim at recovering the cost.

The other mandate is to contain the farm gate price so as to check the inflationary pressure on every commodity. Recently the wheat MSP was increased by Rs 50 per quintal as per the recommendation of CACP even when the ministry of agriculture batted for an increase of Rs 100 per quintal. On the other hand, both the ministry of finance and ministry of food had opposed to such a move.

 

In its recommendations submitted to the ministry of agriculture, CACP has recommended complete review of the policies of pricing and administrative allocation followed for jute bags. This is because the jute bags are allocated at administered prices of jute mills and this is done at the expense of consumers of other industries which use jute bags, primarily foodgrain industry. This acts as a major impediment to modernization, sustainability and growth of the jute industry, said sources.

 

An estimated 9.5-10 million bales (a bale is 180 kg) of raw jute are expected to be produced this year and the sector is already burdened with a stock pile of 2.7 million bales. Few months back the industry faced cut in demand due to the decision of state food procurement agencies to cut down their procurement, primarily due to alleged irregular supplies, high costs and the poor quality of jute bags.

The industry's installed capacity is about 1.5 mt. Though 75% of jute mills are located in West Bengal, the state doesn't have a policy to procure jute bags.

 

According to a parliamentary reply in Lok sabha, the government of India is implementing various schemes to increase the use of jute/jute products in the country. Accordingly, the government encourages extensive research in jute in order to increase production of Jute Diversified Products (JDPs) like jute geotextiles. Jute in the form of Jute Geotextiles (JGT) are used in road construction and the specific areas of its application are road construction, especially medium and low volume roads, river bank erosion control, stabilisation of flood and road embankments, hill slope erosion control, soft soil consolidation and watershed management.

 

Source

The Business standard

19-10-2013

 

 

BB to distribute soft loan to revitalize jute sector

 
 

Bangladesh Bank has decided to launch a Tk 100 crore refinancing scheme to distribute soft loan among jute buyers, mill owners and processors to ensure its fair price at the farmers’ level.

BB Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury made the announcement at a press briefing at the central bank head office on Wednesday.

 

He said the Ministry of Textiles and Jute asked the central bank to announce a policy support to ensure fair price of jute at farmers’ level as there is an allegation jute farmers are not getting its fair price.

 

“So, we (BB) are going to introduce a Tk 100 refinancing scheme to distribute loan at a single digit interest rate among jute traders, mill owners and processors,” the BB deputy governor said.

He informed that the central bank will soon form a committee involving representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Textiles and Jute Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry. “The committee, led by me, will fix the interest rate and the amount of loan to be distributed to a single borrower.”

SK Sur said the committee, after Eid-ul-Azha, will ask the state and private commercial banks interested to introduce the scheme to sit with the central bank and then the central bank will sign agreements with banks to implement the scheme.

He said although the credit will not distributed at the farmer’s level, they will get fair price of jute if the jute mill owners, traders and processors get soft loan and buy it. —UNB

 

 

 

Source

The Daily sun

10-10-2013

 
 

Jute and the denim dream of Bangladesh

 
 

Iftu Ahmed

 

Jute is a natural long, soft and shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong thread. It is the second only to cotton in terms of cultivation and usage. For its golden and silky shine, jute is known as the "Golden Fibre of Bangladesh." It is produced from jute plants. To Europe, jute cloth is known as "Hessian," while "Burlap" in North America.

 

Jute is the pride of Bangladesh and a valuable item in the export basket. It is one of the main cash crops of Bangladesh that generates foreign income and helps develop the country's socio-economic infrastructures.

 

Over 85 per cent of the world's jute is cultivated in the Ganges Delta. Being part of it, Bangladesh became the world's largest producer of raw jute. More than 90 per cent of the world's raw jute is being exported from Bangladesh. On the other hand, India is the world's largest jute products producer as well as consumer. Apart from Bangladesh and India, China, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Sudan and Egypt are the world's other jute producing nations.

 

In the ancient times, jute was cultivated in Africa and Asia. Asian Bengalis were known as the "Users of Jute Ropes and Twines" for their household and other purposes. Chinese paper makers would use jute plant as an element alongside hemp, silk and cotton for making papers.

 

In the medieval period, it is known from Ain-e-Akbari written by Abul Fazal in 1590, the historian of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1542-1605), the poor villagers of India used to wear clothes which were made of jute.

 

Amartya Sen, the native of Bangladesh and the citizen and Nobel laureate in economics of India, said: "In the eighteenth century, Adam Smith (1723-1790), the famous Scottish economist, held Bengal as one of the richest heritages of the world. As a result, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and the Danish alongside many other Europeans used to come to Bengal for production, trade and business purposes."

In that era, Mymensingh was known for jute growing and its business in the world. The Europeans and the Englishmen who were involved with the jute business in Mymensingh used to play football with the Mymensingh Mohammedan Sporting Club. At that time European sporting clubs existed in Mymensingh except only the local Mohammedan Sporting Club which was established in 1898.

 

Jute has been an integral part of culture of Bangladesh along with the whole Bengal and Indian sub-continent for centuries. It is such a kind of economic resource that has been given to mankind by nature. Unfortunately, at the end of 1970, the U.S. and the other countries introduced the plastic shopping bags that harmed jute businesses around the globe. As a result, many jute mills of Bangladesh were shut down, people were unemployed and farmers switched from jute to more profitable rice cultivation.

 

Today's world is facing the environmental pollution which is one of the most serious problems of the century. Air, water and soil all are harmed by pollution and they need to be healed for the survival of all living beings. Air pollution causes harm to human health, plants and even weather. Water pollution limits fresh drinking water and claims human, wild and marine lives. Soil pollution reduces the amount of land available for growing food. Environmental pollution also brings ugliness to our natural beauty.

 

Due to cheap, lightweight, functional, hygienic means of carrying food and other goods, plastic bags have been so popular to both retailers and consumers in the world of today that it seems we are unable to stop the use of plastic bags despite those being harmful to our environment. Imagine that the US alone uses a hundred billion plastic bags every year and the number of the rest of the world would be staggering!

Plastic bags' pollution is a threat to our ecosystems, because they are responsible for causing soil, water and air pollution. Plastic manufacturing uses valuable mineral resources and has a negative impact on carbon emission.

 

Plastics are non-biodegradable and contain petroleum products. When they are burned, they infuse toxic fume into the air and cause air pollution. Billions of plastic bags are used once and thrown away just to litter the landscape and clog drains, sewers, seas, rivers, waterways, parks, beaches, and streets, and also cause global warming.

So, plastic harms the earth. On the other hand, jute bags are eco-friendly because jute is totally biodegradable. When burned, jute generates no toxic fume. Jute is a fast growing crop with a much higher carbon dioxide assimilation rate than trees. One hectare of jute plants consumes over 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide which are several times higher than trees.

 

Jute is a vegetable fibre composed of cellulose which is the main building material of all plants and totally decomposes putting valuable nutrients back into soil. Jute plants increase soil fertility when grown in rotation with other food crops while being a barrier to disease and pests. That is why the cultivation of jute in combination with other corps can restore soil fertility, because jute adds vital nitrogen and organic matters to the soil. Geotextile, a diversified jute product, is used for soil-erosion control.

 

Besides, jute is a rain-fed natural organic crop which is grown without the need of chemicals.

 

So, jute bags and other jute products are strong, trendy and reusable and save the earth. Purchasing jute products mean to help our biosphere. Western consumers have realised the importance of echo-friendly and biodegradable jute bags and other jute products, the demand for which is soaring day by day with the level of environmental awareness rising both in developed and developing countries. As a result, jute business is booming now. It is good news for Bangladesh that the jute business is again flourishing in the world.

 

The Bangladesh government can take overall development programmes on jute bags and other jute products. The government must ensure higher profits from jute. The fair price of jute will help farmers grow more jute in Bangladesh.

 

The demand in the global denim market is very high. The scientists of Bangladesh are working on a smart project to blend jute fabric with cotton to produce denim fabric which can bring down the demand for cotton in the country. If Bangladesh can produce denim fabric economically and commercially, it would have a huge impact on the country's economy. Sophisticated machines as well as hardware are required to fulfill Bangladesh's denim dream. The Bangladesh government can take initiatives through the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) to introduce the business of denim fabric in the country and the world.

 

Source

The Financial Express

09-10-2013

 

 

Farmers frown at jute prices

Cash-strapped BJMC virtually stays out of purchase; poor sale of golden fibre

 
 

 

Jute farmers walk a tightrope this season. So does Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation.
The BJMC, the biggest purchaser of raw jute in public sector, is running out of cash and is struggling to buy jute from the farmers and traders during the peak season now.
Jute growers and traders sit idle at a weekly market in Tangail’s Korotia. Farmers and traders are being poorly paid for the natural fibre this season, with the state-run mills operated by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation in a severe cash crunch. The photo was taken recently.

 

With the BJMC-run mills remaining cash-strapped, jute market has lost competitiveness, and a depressed market is forcing growers to sell jute at a lower price. As against Tk 1,400 -1,500 a maund last year, farmers get only Tk 950-1,100 this season from the sale of raw jute, market sources and field reports say.“This really acts as a disincentive for the farmers, who grew jute with a high hope this year against the backdrop of increasing demand for the natural fibre both at home and abroad. But we are failing to go to jute market in a big way because of a serious cash crisis,” said a BJMC official, wishing not to be named.

 

A sluggish market is dictating the prices at a time when breakthroughs in jute genomics opened up new avenues for further growth of the “golden fibre”, and jute has been made mandatory in manufacturing many packaging products.Asked, BJMC Chairman Humayun Khaled admitted the fund crisis, saying, “We sought Tk 500 crore from the government for jute purchase but to no avail. Now we’re trying to line up loans from banks.” The biggest employer in industrial sector with nearly 90,000 people on its payroll, the BJMC operates 23 jute mills and buys nearly 1.5 million bales of raw jute annually through 174 purchasing centres across the country.

 

BJMC sources said since December last year, the corporation had to pay an extra Tk 400 crore to its mill workers in arrears, thanks to a government-announced wage increase last year and that also with retrospective effect from 2009. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have walked a tightrope,” said a BJMC official. The corporation paid the arrears in two instalments in December last year and March this year while another instalment became due in July. But it could not be paid till date due to non-availability of fund.


Yet, BJMC Secretary Abdun Noor Muhammad Al Firoz claimed that the mills under the corporation had purchased 35 percent of their targets till last week. But he could not provide the quantity of jute already purchased.


Contacted, Firoz said had they been provided with the fund they sought from the government, they could have gone to the jute market more vigorously, thereby minimising the farmers’ woes due to the dull market. This season, said sources, the BJMC purchase centres are mostly buying jute from traders on credit as the mills are not able to pay the cash readily for the procurements. In the process, jute farmers are being deprived of good price as they simply cannot afford selling their produce on credit and they are being forced to sell it to the middlemen at lower prices, said the sources.


At Mohimaganj jute purchase centre in Gobindaganj upazila of Gaibandha recently, farmers burnt jute to vent their wrath over the dull market. The centre that procures jute for the BJMC-run Alim Jute Mills could procure 8,000 maunds of jute till last week as against its targeted purchase of 30,000 maunds, and then again an overwhelming volume of it on credit.

 

Reached over the phone, centre-in-charge M Khairul Islam told this correspondent, “I got only Tk 10 lakh from BJMC but I purchased jute worth over Tk 1 crore, most of it on credit. Farmers cannot sell jute to our centre as we cannot make payment readily. The traders, who have so far sold jute to us on credit, are also becoming impatient.” Khairul feared if the BJMC failed to provide the jute mills and their jute purchase centres with enough cash immediately, the mills would run short of raw jute supply and jute prices may drop further. An official of Star Jute Mill, another BJMC entity in Khulna, also admitted that farmers and traders were returning with unsold truckloads of jute as they were “unable to procure enough because of fund crisis.” Without providing any specific figure, the Star Jute Mill official told this correspondent that they had carryover debt, and if they still continued to ask the traders to sell jute to them on credit, how long they (traders) could do so. Rezaul Islam, a farmer of Auria village in Sadar upazila of Narail, said, “I sold 37 maunds of jute at Tk 1,000 per maund. The price is disappointing compared to the  production cost.”

 

Besides the BJMC’s fund crunch, devaluation of the Indian currency, and Syria situation that has affected jute export to the Middle East have some impact as local and international jute buyers are taking time before they go in a big way for procuring jute, explained M Rashedul Karim Munna, General Secretary of Bangladesh Jute Diversified Product Manufacturers and Exporters Association.


Munna, also chief executive officer of Creation Private Limited, said that in any case, jute growers should get price incentives so they do not get discouraged to grow jute, specially at a time when demand for the natural fibre is expected to rise in the world market.

 

 

Source

The Daily Star

07-10-2013

 

 

Training programme on jute

 
 

 

A new training programme on jute products manufacturing to protect the environment was introduced at the Government ITI College for Girls, in connection with Mahatma Gandhi’s 145th Jayanti, here on Wednesday. The 30-day training will be imparted to women free of cost.

 

Inaugurating the programme, Municipal Commissioner Mangatayaru, said that the campaign to ban the use of plastic products was effectively being run in the municipal limits and if it was supported by all sections, it could easily be successful. Jute products bring down environmental pollution, she said.

 

Source

The Hindu

03-10-2013

 

 

Nineteen entrepreneurs take part in weeklong National Jute Board Jute Fair

 
 

VARANASI: A weeklong Jute Fair of diversified jute products organised by National Jute Board (NJB) was inaugurated at Sanatan Gaudiya Muth, Sonarpura area on Thursday. A total of 19 jute entrepreneurs from different parts of the country have participated in this fair. The fair is exhibiting huge variety of environment friendly consumer products.

 

Several lifestyle jute products such as handicraft and hand loom materials, dolls, fancy jute bags, shopping bags, gift articles, wall hangings, footwear, floor coverings and artificial jewelleries are on the display cum sale in the fair. Meanwhile, heavy rush of buyers reached the fair on the first day of the fair. Women and girls were seen splurging upon fancy handbags and shopping bags. Hand purse, wallets, pen stand and several handicraft products were purchased on the first day. The entry in the fair is free and it will culminate on October 2. According to NJB officials, the Indian Jute sector, comprising jute mills and a large number of small and tiny units is the world's largest and biggest producer of raw jute and jute goods.

Indian has an average production of over 1516 thousand tonnes per annum of jute goods with an average export of 158 thousand tonnes for around Rs 15,062 millions per annum. During 2012-13, export performance of jute diversified products comprising, jute floor coverings, hand and shopping bags, wall hangings, gift articles, decorative fabrics was Rs 3,636 million constituting 18 percent of the total value of jute goods.

 

Source

The Times of India

27-09-2013

 

 
 

Private jute mill starts operation in Rajshahi

 
 

RAJSHAHI, Sept 29 (BSS): A private jute mills started its operation at Naohata in Paba upazila of the district on Saturday with daily production capacity of 12 tonnes of bags or ribbon. 80 percent of those are exportable.

 

Chairman of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) Prof Dr Shah Nawaj Ali was present at the opening ceremony as the chief guest with Chairman of the mills Monsur Rahman in the chair.

RAKUB Managing Director Mofazzal Hossain, Joint Secretary of Economic Relations Division Saifuddin Ahemd, Commissioner of Rajshahi division Helaluddin Ahemd, Prof Obayedur Rahman Pramanik and Modan Mohan Dey of Rajshahi University and Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension Ekram Hossain were also present as special guests.

Speaking on the occasion, the guests hope that the mills will contribute a lot to ensure fair price of jutes produced in the region.

 

Built at a cost of Taka 276.4 million on 2.8 acres of land, the mills has created employment opportunities for more than 200 labopurers. Another 300 people will also get job in the days ahead, Ataur Rahman, Managing Director of the mills, said. - See more at:

 

Source

The Financial Express

30-09-2013

 

 

 

Jute bags mandatory for rice and wheat

 
 

Dhaka, Sept 27: To promote the use of jute bags for packaging foodstuff and agricultural produce, the Ministry of Textiles and Jute on Thursday issued a circular saying that it is mandatory for private rice mill owners to use 100 per cent jute bags for packaging under the Jute Packaging Law.

 

The circular, signed by a joint secretary of the ministry, also instructed the Ministry of Food (MOF) for 100 per cent use of jute bags for packaging paddy, rice and wheat. Fertiliser factories, the Sugar and Food Corporation, as well as private sugar mills were directed to use jute bags for 50 per cent of their products. The ministry issued the circular following submission of a set of recommendations made by a committee formed by the ministry to find ways to implement the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010. The circular is to be notified in the official gazette. In October, 2010, Parliament passed the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act to help promote use of jute


bags. The gazette notification on the rules related to the Act was published on June 3. A circular said that the rules would be implemented within 60 days of the gazette notification.


According to the Act, jute bags will have to be used for packaging paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertiliser and sugar. The committee also recommended bringing private food grains traders under the Act gradually.

 

The member mills, the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and the Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) will supply the bags on a 50:50 basis, said the circular, adding that in the case of maize packaging, 100 per cent jute bags have to be used.
Private millers said that with the joint efforts of the BJMA and the BJMC they would be able to supply the bags to meet the demand after maintaining overseas sales, said BJMA secretary A. Barik Khan. “If the Act is implemented, use of jute bags will increase several times,” Khan added.


About seven million bales of jute are produced in the country every year. Of these, some 4.5-5 million bales are usually required for the local jute industry and the rest are exported. A total of 212 jute mills are currently operational in Bangladesh. Of them, 21 are run by the government and the rest by private owners, said officials. The local consumption of jute sacks stands at around 250 million pieces, both in the public and private sectors, a year for packaging products, according to the committee report. The total demand for jute bags in packaging paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertiliser and sugar is around 450 million pieces a year.


According to the committee report, private rice millers will use 150 million pieces of jute bags a year, against their demand for 300 million pieces. Fertiliser factories will use 25 million pieces, against the demand for 50 million, while the food department will use 45 million pieces and maize traders 40 million. Besides, sugar mills will use around one million pieces, against their requirement of 2.1 million.Jute millers, however, said that they have sufficient pro

 

ducts to meet the total demand. Moreover, after meeting the local and overseas demand, around 325.65 million pieces of jute bags will remain unsold as the production capacity of private and public mills stands at 1.01 billion pieces a year. The local sales by these mills were around 101.74 million pieces in 2012-13 and 334 million pieces were exported. If the authorities concerned ensure 100 cent per cent use of jute bags, the sector will flourish, they said. The legislation, sources said, is aimed at boosting the use of jute bags instead of polythene or polypropylene ones for packaging goods like foodstuff and agricultural produce. The absence of rules hindered implementation of the guidelines enshrined in the Jute Policy 2011 for augmenting the use of environment-friendly jute products at home and abroad, said textiles and jute ministry officials.


Once the Jute Packaging Act is implemented, industry people feel it will pave the way for increased use of jute sack. The circular, they said, would ensure a fair price for jute and thus encourage growers to increase production.

 

Source

The Independent

28-09-2013

 

 

Gulf News marks 35th anniversary

 
 

Dubai: To mark its commitment in preserving the environment and in celebration of its 35th anniversary, Gulf News is rewarding its subscribers with 100,000 jute bags.

 

After completing its 35 years of existence and still going strong, Gulf News is cele-brating its anniversary with those who would have otherwise not made it possible – our subscribers.

 

This year’s jute bags come along with a slightly more beneficial twist, equipped with a zipper. The jute bags are not only environmentally friendly but also embody the characteristics of high quality, durability and use. Manufactured by Aarbur, a company based in Kolkata, India, they are sold all around the world, particularly in the European fashion retail markets. The jute bags were produced over a period of 60 days with 100 people involved in the manufacturing process.

 

Gulf News was first launched in tabloid format in 1979 and its offices were located on the Airport Road, Dubai. In November 1984, three leading UAE businessmen — Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Abdullah Al Rostamani and Juma Al Majid — purchased the company and formed Al Nisr Publishing.

 

Forbes Middle East ranked Gulf News as the third most popular newspaper in the Arab world in the period from August 31, 2011 to August 31, 2012.The 35th anniversary of Gulf News will be marked on September 30 and a 2.5 metre by 1.5 metre long cake will be cut on the premises of its headquarters in Dubai. All Gulf News staff across the country will be wearing beige and orange shirts in commemoration of the newspaper’s anniversary.

 

“The last time we distributed the bags was in 2008 when we celebrated our 30-year anniversary, and we received an overwhelming response from the public,” said Naheed Patel, promotions manager at Gulf News.

Congratulatory card

 

Each subscriber also gets a congratulatory card in celebrating 12,875 days of the newspaper’s publication. The logo on the card further displays the transition from print to digital media.

 

Source

The Gulf

27-09-2013

 

 

TABLE-Bangladesh jute report - Sept 26

 
 

Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association

VARIETY BALES FOB Narayanganj

 

(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)

 

Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 12,800 Bangla white A (BWA) 12,500 Bangla white B (BWB) 11,600 Bangla white C (BWC) 10,100 Bangla white D (BWD) 9,650 Bangla white E (BWE) 9,200 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 13,100 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 13,800 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 11,900 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 10,400 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 9,950 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 9,500

 

WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 8,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 6,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 8,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 6,300

 

CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 5,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 5,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 6,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 5,900

MESHTA Meshta special 12,800 Meshta A 12,500 Meshta B 11,600 Meshta C 10,100 Special meshta cuttings 5,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 5,600 Meshta- SMR 8,000

STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports - About 10,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 20,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual

NOTE Raw jute exports during 2012-2013 (01.07.2012 to 31.03.2013) = 2.05 million bales Value 14.36 billion taka ($1 = 77.75 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904

 

Source

The Reuters

26-09-2013

 

 

Jute farmers demand higher price

 
 

 

Guwahati, Sept. 25: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) staged a protest at Krishi Bhawan here today to demand that the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) should increase the minimum support price by three times to ensure maximum profit for jute farmers of the state.

 

It also demanded that the state government set up jute processing units where jute is cultivated. The KMSS submitted a memorandum of demands, addressed to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, state agriculture minister Nilamani Sen Deka and the JCI.

 

About 1,000 jute cultivators from Barpeta, Dhubri, Darrang and Nagaon districts had arrived in the city to support the agitation as they were reportedly incurring losses in the cultivation of jute, their main source of livelihood.“The jute farmers in our state are incurring huge losses as the present minimum support price (MSP) of jute is even less than the market price. The present MSP of jute is around Rs 650 per 40kg (maund) of jute, whereas the cost of production of the same is Rs 660-Rs 830,” KMSS general secretary Kamal Kumar Medhi said.

 

To ensure that the farmers earn maximum profit, we want the JCI to increase the price of jute to three times of what it is now. Besides, it should also increase the MSP every year and also purchase jute from farmers here,” said KMSS general secretary Kamal Kumar Medhi.

 

“We also want the state government to take legal action against traders who pay jute farmers less than the MSP. Since the jute industry has great potential, the state government should establish such units in all districts where jute is cultivated so that the farmers can sell their produce to them,” said Medhi.

 

“I have come from Barpeta to participate in this agitation. The MSP of jute is at present is very low and because of inflation the cost of production has also increased a lot over the past few years. It is essential that the price be increased to bail out farmers like us who depend on its cultivation for income,” said Anil Das, a small time jute farmer.

 

“The state agriculture minister has decided to fix a date for discussion on this issue with us on Friday. We are waiting for the state government’s response,” said Medhi.

Four jute farmers were killed in police firing in October 2011 at Bechimari in Darrang district while they were were protesting against low jute prices. Dispur had assured to set up a jute mill at Bechimari to help add value to the produce in the wake of the death of the four cultivators.

 

Source

The Telegraph

26-09-2013

 

 

 

 

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