The Union Textile Ministry convened a meeting in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the raw jute price cap, where officials from the West Bengal Labor Department, the Indian Jute Mills Association as well as the Commissioner jute would be present, industry sources said.
The development comes after BJP MP Arjun Singh criticized the Centre’s jute policy and accused the commissioner of crippling the industry by keeping the raw jute price cap at Rs 6,500 per quintal.
“The Union Textile Secretary has convened the meeting at 3 p.m. at Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi. The West Bengal Labor Secretary, IJMA President and Jute Commissioner will be present during the consultation.
This is the ministry’s first meeting with all major stakeholders since the price cap was imposed on September 30 last year,” one of the sources told PTI.
Bengal government officials said Labor Secretary Barun Kumar Ray and IJMA President Raghav Gupta had confirmed their attendance at the meeting.
There is a strong possibility of an amicable resolution,” a former IJMA official said.
About 2.5 lakh workers are believed to be employed in jute mills in Howrah, Hooghly and North 24 parganas districts.
Singh, the BJP MP for Barrackpore, had threatened to stage protests at various mills in his constituency to highlight how the Centre’s policies are hurting farmers and workers.
He had also backed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s demand to remove the raw jute price cap on the open market, as the current market-determined prices favor farmers.
The Jute Commissioner, however, said the price cap was finalized after considering all aspects, including farmers’ interests.
The regulator also said the price was 2,000 rupees above the minimum support price.
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