Jute exports on the upswing

By agencies   |   Thursday, 29 September 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Jute exports from India during the first five months of the current fiscal is up by 22 per cent, according to Arun Bal, Secretary of Jute Manufactures Development Council (JMDC).

He was talking to reporters after attending the 80th annual general meeting of the Gunny Trades Association. R.C. Tiwari, Chairman and Managing Director of Jute Corporation of India Ltd (JCI) were also present.

"We are hoping to continue with this growth for the rest of the year too. We are targeting several new markets. We would be sending delegations to different parts of the globe," Bal said. In 2004-05, jute exports totaled $259 million.

A delegation from JMDC would soon be visiting to the Latin American countries. According to Bal, the team would be touring Argentina, Chile and Peru. There is a great potential for the hydro-carbon free food grade jute bags for the cocoa producers of these countries.

Another JMDC delegation would be visiting Iran and Turkey in February, next year. He said that there is a great demand for Indian jute yarn in these two markets.

Bal, however, criticized the West Bengal jute industry for not showing enough interest in modernization. According to him, the jute sector in Andhra Pradesh has got more government subsidies on capital investment on machinery than their counterparts in Bengal.

JMDC also criticized the several jute industry organizations for not forwarding any proposal as a substitute of the DEPB (duty entitlement pass book scheme) or the EMA (external marketing assistance). "Both DEPB and EMA would be withdrawn by the Union Commerce Minister in the next few years. We have asked for proposals which can replace these schemes but we are yet to get a single," he said.

Talking on the proposed pilot project on jute geo-textiles in the road sector, Bal said, the tenders had been floated. There would be 10 such projects and it would be carried out in Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam.

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