BJP MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh left for Delhi on Thursday afternoon following a call from Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss issues concerning the jute price capping.
“I received a phone call from the minister in the morning. He asked me to come to Delhi to discuss issues related to the jute industry,” said Singh before leaving for Delhi.
Goyal’s call came just a day after the Calcutta High Court directed the Jute Commissioner to “review and re-fix” the rate of raw jute. “Our discussion will be based on the lines of the court order,” said Singh.
The Barrackpore MP said he was hopeful of a breakthrough. “However, I am reiterating that only talks won’t solve the issue, the government will have to come up with a clear and right decision,” he said. Pleading his support to the protesting farmers, Singh said, “I am in favour of the movement, but if the demand is fulfilled through talks, then there is no need for a movement. If the government wants this problem will be solved amicably.”
Reacting to the BJP MP’s visit, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “Their (BJP) party leaders are not happy with the way Centre ignores Bengal when it comes to its development. It is increasingly evident from this episode.”
On Wednesday, Justice Amrita Sinha observed, “The Jute Commissioner is directed to take positive steps and adopt stringent measures to implement the notified rate but, despite all efforts, if it appears that the notified rate cannot be adhered to, then the Jute Commissioner shall review and re-fix the rate taking into consideration the relevant factors as mentioned in the Control Order, 2016.” The direction came on a plea moved by the Indian Jute Mills Association, demanding a review of the Jute Commissioner’s notification issued on September 30, 2021, that capped the price of raw jute at Rs 6,500 per quintal.
Jute mill owners, workers and unions claim that the capping is forcing them to close jute mills as they are incurring huge losses. According to them, the market price of jute is around Rs 7,200 a quintal, but they are forced to sell at Rs 6,500 a quintal. They have been demanding the Centre to revoke the capping on the raw jute price.