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Anand Sharma allays Lok Sabha concerns on plight of jute farmers

Posted on Dec 14, 05:45PM | UNI

Government today responded to the concerns expressed in the Lok Sabha on the plight of jute farmers by asserting that it has increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) by 32 per cent to Rs 2,200 per quintal for raw jute.

The stattement came during Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma's reply to a Calling Attention Motion by Saugata Roy (AITC) and Basudeb Acharia CPI(M) on the situation arising out of dilution of Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use) Act, 1987, and the hardships faced by the farmers.

The Minister said jute sector occupies an important place in the economy as it provides direct employment to nearly 3.7 lakh workers and supports livelihood of nearly 40 lakh farm families.

Government is committed to protect the livelihood concerns of jute farmers, he said adding "the MSP operation is on as the Government has increased MSP for raw jute for 2012-13 fixing it at Rs 2200 per quintal as against Rs 1675 per quintal in the previous fiscal." Jute Corporation of India (JCI) has started procuring jute on increased MSP, he saidd.

When this assertion was objected by Members of AITC and Left Members, he described the concern as purely political saying the matter was not raised to redress the grievances of farmers but to make an issue.