Calcutta HC: Stakeholders Need to Revive Jute Industry

Calcutta High Court - law insider

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 24, 2022 at 19:42 IST

Calcutta High Court said that Jute industry is nation’s pride and it is important for all stakeholders to not only save but revive the jute industry.

Justice Amrita Sinha said , “All organs of the government need to support the Jute Commissioner to act against those indulging in hoarding of the raw fibre, taking into account the financial losses faced by jute mills.”

“All the parties who are a part of the jute industry need to adopt a holistic approach and devise means not only to save but to revive the industry which is the pride of our country, especially Bengal. Reviving the industry will undoubtedly be a herculean task and joint effort of all stake holders is extremely important,” the Judge said.

The Court was hearing a Petition filed by the Indian Jute Mills Association challenging a notification issued by the Jute Commissioner of the Union Ministry of Textiles, in June last year under the Jute Textiles Control Order of 2016.

As per the notification, the Jute Commissioner had notified ₹6,500 per quintal as the Reasonable Price for raw jute in respect of TD-5 variety in West Bengal.

The Petitioners pointed out that since they cannot sell their final products in the open market but have to sell the finished jute bags in bulk to the government, they are undergoing sustained financial loss meaning most mills have been compelled to shut down.

“An onerous duty is cast upon the Jute Commissioner. It is not only his statutory duty but an obligation to fix the price of raw jute after taking into account the relevant considerations and to adopt all necessary methods to implement the said price, otherwise the price fixed will lose its relevance and the purchasers will be left at the mercy of the traders who are openly selling the product at rates higher than the notified rate,” the Court said.

The Court also added that, “A check and balance is to be maintained. With a rise in the notified rate, the government will be liable to reimburse the mill owners the higher rate, which in turn will put a pressure on the exchequer and most likely, the higher rate will not reach the hands of the poor cultivators and will fizzle out in the middle rung.”

The Judge, therefore, ordered the Jute Commissioner to take positive steps and adopt stringent measures to implement the notified rate.

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