Govt to finalise mandatory jute packaging rules in Jan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2012

Govt to finalise mandatory jute packaging rules in Jan

The government is set to finalise rules for the compulsory use of jute sacks to pack food items and agricultural produces by January.
The jute ministry has prepared the rules with suggestions from the stakeholders, which will soon be sent to the law ministry for vetting.
“We just need to do a formal meeting for finalising the rules,” said Md Fazlul Karim, deputy secretary of the jute ministry.
The entire process will be complete by January 15, he said.
Karim spoke at a seminar on 'State of Jute and State Owned Jute Mills' co-orgainsed by the Jute and Jute Industry Protection Committee and Action Aid Bangladesh at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka yesterday.
Although the government enacted the 'Mandatory Jute Packaging Act' in October 2010, it was not implement due to the absence of the rules.
The government enacted the packaging law to increase the use of environment-friendly jute goods instead of polythene or polypropylene bags.
Manufacturers will have to use packaging materials made of at least 75 percent jute fibre, according to the law.
Initially, products such as rice, paddy, wheat, sugar, seeds, fertiliser and saplings are to come under the purview of the law.
Implementation of a mandatory packaging law could help increase domestic demand and thus provide support to farmers to withstand the fall in prices.
To implement the law, the textiles and jute ministry initially planned to ensure the use of jute sacks by state agencies BADC, Department of Food, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation and Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation
The full enforcement of the packing law will create demand for 84 crore jute bags a year for packaging of selected agricultural and non-agricultural products, said Khondaker Golam Moazzem, senior research fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue.
By one estimate, 70 percent of local raw jute will be used for the production of 84 crore bags, he said.
The rules will also increase the use of jute goods in domestic markets and ensure fair prices for farmers, he said.
Moazzem stressed the need for bringing efficiency of the jute mills. “State jute mills have to focus on increasing productivity with low production costs.”
The government plans to reopen five state jute mills during its tenure.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) has re-launched two mills and plans to reopen another three -- Doulatpur Jute Mills in Khulna and MM Jute Mills and RR Jute Mills in Chittagong, Karim said. BJMC has 24 mills, with 18 mills now in operation.
Currently, Bangladesh exports around 20 lakh bales of raw jute a year, while it produces 60-70 lakh bales of jute. Local factories use 40 lakh bales to make yarn and jute goods, more than 80 percent of which are exported.
Asgar Ali Sabri, director of Action Aid Bangladesh, moderated the seminar.

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