Birla Corporation expects rebound in jute sales

Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) M.P. Birla Group’s flagship company Birla Corporation Ltd (BCL) on Thursday said it is expecting a rebound in its jute sales this year as the government has plans to procure jute-made packaging products in the near future.

He said the government has announced plans of procurement of jute from July onwards.

“Once it happens the situation in the jute segment will improve,” company chairman Harsh V. Lodha told mediapersons here on the sidelines of its annual general meeting.

He said the overall jute sector was hit after the JPMA (Jute Packaging Materials Act), 1987, was diluted. The act provided for compulsory use of jute to packaging a range of commodities.

The company said unless the compulsory JPMA requirements are restored, the demand of jute goods is expected to remain sluggish than the production capacity of the mills.

The company said it is focusing on diversifying its jute goods besides trying to increase exports.

BCL’s jute production during 2014-15 fell to 33,248 million tonnes (mt) against 38,015 mt during 2013-14.

The company said along with the prevalent low demand of jute in India, unabated duty-free import of jute goods from Bangladesh has adversely affected the capacity utilisation of Indian jute mills.

BCL is also stressing on aforestation of its mining areas and promoting use of alternative fuel from the by-products.

“Presently, alternate fuels comprise of three to four percent of the total fuel usage which will go up between 12-15 percent in the coming two to three years,” company’s Managing Director B.R. Nahar said.

He said usage of alternative fuels can save the company between Rs.50-100 for each tonne of cement production.

 

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