Shortage of gunny bags may create hindrances in Kharif procurement, starting November, with the jute industry failing to supply the required quantity of jute bags to pack and store the crops.
While average spot prices of raw jute are hovering at around Rs 6,000 per quintal, much above the average MSP of Rs 4,225 per quintal for the jute year 2020-21, the textile ministry has barred stocking more than 1,500 quintal of raw jute in one’s own account asking to sell out the excess stock from August 25 onwards. Despite the jute commissioner’s office ordering regular inspection of godowns to prevent stocking beyond the prescribed limit, hoarding is in continuance disrupting supplies, industry sources said.
Sanjay Kajaria, former chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), said that the government has placed orders for 23 lakh jute bales equivalent of jute bags for the Kharif season, ‘but we (IJMA) have made clear that the jute mills will be able to execute order of up to 13 lakh bales equivalent jute bags, given the supply constraint of the fiber’.
‘Although the short supply is not being felt at the moment since jute growers are in the process of selling their produce, the crisis will be felt from January giving rise to possibility of a number of mills closing down,’ Kajaria said.
Recently three jute mills, North Brooke, Gondal Para and Savin Yemco, resumed operation in West Bengal, re-employing around 15,000 people, with an eye on the huge government orders. But executing the orders has posed a challenge.