Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister, Punjab called upon the Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in New Delhi. Kairon explained the various problems being faced by Punjab State in receiving packaging material for food grains due to mandatory provisions of the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in packaging Commodities) Act, 1987.Mr. Kairon explained that the Punjab Government proposes to distribute wheat to the consumers under the new Atta-Dal Scheme of the State as per the provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013 in consumer friendly HDPE/PP bags of 30 kg. However, Union Ministry of Food and Public Distribution allowed distribution only in jute bags. Mr. Kairon has sought amendment that this current provision of less than 25 kg consumer bags be enhanced to 30 kg consumer bags, so that fresh wheat from the current crop can be delivered to the consumer in pre-weighed and sealed bags without any pilferage and shortage. The state government has already adopted De-centralized Procurement (DCP) Operations for procurement of wheat under new Atta-Dal scheme/ National Food Security Act, 2013. The approval for 30 kg HDPE/PP bags for packaging and distribution of wheat to beneficiaries will save more than Rs.45 crore annually and would protect the consumer’s rights and will prevent leakage and ensure the quality and quantity of wheat distribution.
Mr. Kairon also conveyed that state government had faced difficulties in the past in getting timely supply of gunny-bales for procurement of wheat and paddy every year as the gunny bags are supplied form Kolkata where the jute mills are located. The FSM pleaded for flexibility in the Jute Packaging Act, 1987 to provide alternate sources of procurement of bags to supplement recurrent shortages in supply of gunny bags. He further apprised the Union Textiles Minister about the importance of having the representative of the State of Punjab on the Advisory Committee of Textiles Ministry being the biggest buyer of jute bags. Gangwar assured Mr. Kairon that Union Govt. will take a positive view of all proposals of Punjab and ensure an early decision in this regard.