Steps being taken to address order shortage, other issues: Jute Commissioner

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Kolkata, Jul 9 (PTI) Jute Commissioner Moloy Chandan Chakrabortty on Tuesday said efforts are being made to address sectoral concerns such as shortage of orders and non-adherence of labour agreements by some mills.

During a one-hour meeting with West Bengal Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak along with representatives of the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) on Monday, stakeholders focused on mitigating challenges faced by millers, including reduced operational days and working shifts due to the shortage of jute bag orders by around 50 per cent, industry sources said.

"I have been requesting the Union food supplies ministry and state governments to ramp up jute bag orders for food packaging. We are trying our best to address sectoral concerns," Jute Commissioner Moloy Chandan Chakrabortty told PTI.

During the meeting, the state minister raised concerns about the low order volumes for mills and provided a "list of mills that are not complying with the tripartite labour agreement regarding labour dues", he said.

The state minister also requested the jute commissioner's office to take stringent action against the mills that have failed to comply with the latest labour agreement.

Ghatak also asked the commissioner not to place orders with the non-compliant mills, a labour department official said.

"We will examine and take steps against the mills listed in the letter by the labour department," the jute commissioner said.

Trade union sources said more than 14 mills are not paying labour dues in accordance with the agreement.

These mills are not members of the Indian Jute Mills Association but are signatories to the last tripartite wage agreement, they said.

These are located in the north Bengal region.

These small jute mills in north Bengal have "disrupted the level-playing field by not paying industry-standard wages and benefits to workers", an IJMA official said. PTI BSM BDC