The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the use of mandatory jute packaging for foodgrains and sugar.
The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India stated that the CCEA has extended the mandatory packaging regulations under the 1987 Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act.
According to the regulations, 90% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar products must be compulsorily packed in jute bags.
The decision also necessitates the 100% packing of food grains in jute bags, subject to availability, according to the statement.
The move will support farmers and workers dependent on the jute sector in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country, particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
The Government of India, which is the main customer of the jute industry, annually purchases jute products worth more than Rs55bn ($866.8m).
It is currently focusing on the development of the jute sector, by increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of the industry, as well as enhancing and sustaining demand for jute products.
India has imposed a Definitive Anti Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal, in an effort to increase demand in the jute sector.