The Coir Industry Act was enacted by the Parliament to provide for the constitution of a Board for the advancement of the Coir industry and establishments. The Act also aims to impose tax on the export of coir fibre and other coir products from India and other issues related with the coir industry. The Act was enacted on December 23, 1953 but came into effect on February 9, 1954 when the Central Government notified in the Gazette of India.
The Act defines coir or coir fibre as the fibre digged out of the coconut husk and the coir products include mats, matting, carpet, rope and other goods produced using mat as the raw material. The Act further explains coir yarn as the yarn attained by coir spinning. The Central Government is empowered under the Act to constitute the Coir Board which shall have the status of a company with continuous succession and common seal. The Board shall have the power to purchase, own and sell off properties, enter into lawful agreements and the right to litigate.
The Coir Board established according to the provisions of the Act shall have a Chairman and a maximum of forty members to be appointed by the Central Government. The members shall include persons from coconut cultivators, husk producers, coir manufacturers, traders of coir products, representatives from the Parliament, members from the Government engaged in the activity of growing coconut and other members representing the Central Government. The officials deputed to the Board by the Central government shall have the right to participate in the meetings and be part of the proceedings of the Board, but without the right to vote.
The Board shall establish an Executive Committee to exercise the powers and responsibilities as delegated to it by the Coir Board. The constitution of the Executive Committee includes the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and five members chosen by the members of the Coir Board through election. The members of the Committee shall be officials of the Government and the manufacturers of husk or other coir products. The Board shall also compose standing and ad hoc committees to implement the powers and responsibilities, conduct enquiry and report or advice matters referred by the Board within the limits and restrictions imposed by the Central Government. The Board shall perform certain functions according to Section 10 of the Act:
- To formulate measures for the enhancement and management of the Coir Industry by the Central Government;
- Encourage the export of the coir products including coir yarn by framing propaganda for that rationale;
- Standardize the husk manufacture, production of coir yarn and the products obtained from coir under the guidance of the Central government;
- Registering of the manufacturers and exporters of coir spindles, coir looms, coir yarn and other coir products in the prescribed manner;
- Commence, assist and support research in the scientific, technical and economic field and preserving and aiding in the protection of research establishments;
- Compilation of statistics from the producers and traders of coir products and other approved persons on issues dealing with coir industry and publicize the statistics collected for this purpose;
- Prescribe grade standards to facilitate inspection and supervision of coir yard and the products wherever necessary;
- Advance the promotion of coconut husk, coir yarn, coir fibre and coir products manufactured in India and check unreasonable competition in this field;
- Assist the setting up of power in the coir factories for helping the manufacturers of coir products;
- Encourage the establishment of co-operative organizations and guarantee proper payment to the manufacturers of coir products etc.
The Act under Chapter III provides for the restrictions imposed on the export of coir products, coir yarn etc. Accordingly, the export of coir products shall be permitted only after obtaining a license in the manner prescribed and complying with the conditions inflicted under the Sea Customs Act of 1878. As per the notification published by the Central Government in 1954, customs duty shall be entailed for exporting coir products, coir fibre etc. The audit of the accounts of the Board shall be conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
The Act is constructive that the formation of the Board have improved the situation of the coir industry and facilitated the improvement of labour conditions in this sector. The Act has controlled the export policies of the coir product which will protect unauthorized trade of these products.