New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) Trinamool Congress member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy on Tuesday raised in the Rajya Sabha the issue of jute farmers and mill workers, stating that the food department has sought removal of compulsory jute packaging for wheat.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Roy said 40 lakh farmers are involved in jute cultivation.
The member said the food ministry has sought an exemption for wheat from being mandatorily packaged in jute bags under the Jute Packaging Material (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, (JPMA).
“I protest and urge the government not to get caught in the plastic lobby. This government promises to be the government of farmers and labour,” Roy said.
Roy was joined by members across party lines from both ruling and opposition benches who associated with him in the issue.
As per estimates, the jute industry contributes Rs.8,000 crore annually to eastern India’s rural economy. The main states affected by the plastic packaging would be West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam and Meghalaya.