In order to assess the living conditions of jute workers, a study on the Socio-Economic Conditions of Jute Mill Workers was conducted in 2015-16 by National Jute Board (NJB). The findings of the study, inter alia, indicate that 96.4% workers have electricity in their houses; that 91% of the families have piped water supply; that 99% of the workers have access to toilets; and that the mill workers have health coverage under ESI.
Government of India provides an assured market to the jute sector under the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPM), 1987. Under this Act, Government has mandated that 90% of foodgrains and 20% of sugar be packed in jute bags. The annual subsidy for this amounts to Rs.5,500 crores approximately. Apart from this, the National Jute Board (NJB) has been implementing several measures for the benefit of workers, artisans and small producers and for promotion of the jute industry. These include:
(i). Workers’ Welfare Scheme (SulabhSauchalaya) for improvement of sanitation, health facilities and working conditions of jute mill workers.
(ii). Incentives to Children of Jute Mill Workers for extending support to the Workers' families towards education of their children through a scholarship scheme.
(iii). Export Market Development AssistanceScheme to facilitate registered manufacturer exporters of jute products to participate in international fairs and take business delegations abroad for export promotion of lifestyle and other diversified jute products.
(iv). Retail Outlet of Jute Diversified Products Scheme for providing assistance to jute entrepreneurs for opening of outlets of jute lifestyle jute products in Metro Cities, State capitals, District Head Offices and Tourist spots; and
(v). Focused Market Initiatives for organising and participation in Jute Fairs, National Fairs / Regional Fairs, Export oriented fairs in India & abroad to extend marketing support to the artisans, small and micro entrepreneurs:
The above information was given by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today, in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.