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New policy on jute unveiled

Special Correspondent

Focus on design and technology

NEW DELHI: The Union Textiles Minister, Shankersinh Vaghela, on Friday unveiled a new national policy on jute, which seeks to bring about a five-fold increase in the export of jute and jute products over the next five years from Rs. 1,000 crores to Rs. 5,000 crores annually by 2010.

The major highlight of the new policy, which would involve achieving a compounded annual growth rate of 15 annually, is the creation of a National Jute Board that would subsume, merge and integrate the functions of the various institutions operating in the sector.

The aim would be to "rectify the systemic ills of lack of coordination among several jute-related organisations under different ministries and to be a facilitator rather than a regulator for the sector."

The policy emphasises the need to develop next generation jute machinery through a comprehensive technology benchmarking after a technology audit, and establishment of a research and development through public-private partnership. The policy seeks to focus on design and technology interventions and development of clusters for specific craft with common service facilities.

Full-fledged design and development centres and dedicated retail outlets for diversified jute products would be established.

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