ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kerala-The Ordeals of Appanu

(released on June 9), consumption of jute in the first 9 months of 1976-77 (that is, during the period July 1976 to March 1977) was about 4.4 ran bales. This was significantly lower than the consumption of around 5.1 tnn bales in the same period of 1975-76. The lower consumption of raw jute reflected the reduced production of jute goods at 778 lakh tonnes in the first nine months of 1976-77 compared to 8.75 lakh tonnes in the same period of 1975-76. Assuming that production of jute goods was maintained at the same level in the closing quarter of the year, total consumption of jute would not have exceeded 6 mn bales. In the notes appended at the beginning of the Monthly Summary of Jute and Gunny Statistics it is stated that the figures of production of gunnies given in the publication "represent more than 90 per cent of the jute mills in India on a loomage basis". Thus on a very liberal basis, consumption of raw jute by all the mills is unlikely to have exceeded 6.5 mn bales, compared to the availability of over 7 mn bales. The industry's plaints about excessive accumulation of stocks of jute goods is also not borne out by the IJMA's own statistics. Total stocks of gunnies at the end of March 1977 was 96,200 tonnes as compared to stocks of 1.05 lakh tonnes at the end of March 1976, These factual discrepancies notwithstanding, the IJMA's blitzkreig appears to have had its effect. For we had the Union commerce minister informing members of the Lok Sabha on Friday that "it is a fact that the jute industry is facing shortage of raw jute at present which is likely to continue till the new crop arrives".

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