The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the mandatory use of jute in packaging for the jute year 2013-14, according to a latest press release from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The CCEA has notified this in pursuance of the Jute Packaging Material Act and it is now approved mandatory packaging of 90% of the production of foodgrains and 20% 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.
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