The office of the Jute Commissioner has asked all the jute mills to submit documents or contracts of jute goods other than the government account after the overall supply of the jute industry to the government remained "unsatisfactory", an official said on Thursday.
The office issued Production Control cum Supply Order under the Jute and Jute Textile Control Order, 2016, to various jute mills for a total quantity of 10.22 lakh bales during November to March 2017.
However, jute mills supplied 7.42 lakh bales as on Monday, leaving a backlog of around 2.80 lakh bales, 27.3 per cent of total quantity, the official said.
In addition to this backlog quantity, the jute mills are required to supply further quantity of around 2.95 lakh bales in the months of March and April, 2017.
In a letter to the jute mills on Wednesday, Deputy Jute Commissioner Dipankar Mahto said after reviewing the projected quantity and the trend of supply by jute mills, it was found that there would be a considerable shortfall in the supply of jute bags.
"In order to make arrangement for packaging materials, the central government has allowed dilution to the tune of five lakh bales of HDPE/PP bags so far. Even after granting dilution of five lakh bales, the overall supply performance of the jute industry remained unsatisfactory," the letter said.
The Jute Commissioner Office also alleged that jute mills were "selling jute sacking bags at a large scale in the open market" to realise "higher price" at the cost of supply to the government.
"We feel that this is the most important reason for such under-performance of the jute industry," Mahto said in the letter.
"…jute mills are hereby directed under clause 9 of the Jute and Jute Textiles Order 2016 to henceforth submit copies of relevant papers/contract relating to all kind of sale of jute goods in the open market before effecting delivery to this office for permission," he added in the letter.
The office also alleged that jute industry committed supply 3.5 lakh bales in a month at the beginning of the season and later, it reduced it to three lakh bales.
"It has been observed that over the last four months, jute industry could never achieve the target of three lakh bales a month committed by the industry," he said, adding that the industry cannot justify the under-performance despite having large manufacturing capacity.
The office warned jute mills that if the "supply performance does not improve" immediately, "stern actions" will be initiated against the erring jute mills.