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The National Jute Board Act, 2008

The National Jute Board Act, 2009 was received the president assent on 12th February, 2009 and published as Act. As jute been one of the largest cultivated products in India which occupies important rank in International market. Yield of jute been increased in recent scenario as it leads to export of jute and its related products. As there was no proper commission or Board to look after the field of jute and its sustainability towards its economic growth , Ministry of Textiles and Central Government decided to set up a National Jute Board which improves and develops the cultivation, manufacture process and marketing techniques of jute and jute related products. Act laid for the establishment of National Jute Board for the development of jute and its related products. Act comprised of 26 Section in brief to deal with the matters relating to Board and other matters connected therewith.

The Act called as the National Jute Board Act which came in to force by the notification issued by the Central Government in Official Gazette and it extends to whole of India. There shall be Board constituted under Section 3 of the Act and it called as the National Jute Board, the Board as a body corporate in his name and has perpetual succession and common seal with power to hold acquire and dispose of property and to sue and to be sued in his name. Board has its head office at Kolkata in the State of West Bengal or in such other persons as Central Government may deem fit and also establish any offices or agencies at other places inside India and in abroad. Board consists of members to perform functions and objectives laid under the Act, members include chairperson who is the Secretary in charge of textile ministry, Joint Secretary, and other members who have authority to perform functions and proper knowledge. Central Government has authority to appoint the Secretary and other members, officers for the proper functioning of the Board constituted under Act, the terms of office of the members and employees of the Board shall be regulated by the provided regulations.

Board has certain functions to exercise as provided under Section 5 of the Act, Board with its members has the duty bound to promote, maintain the growth and development of jute and jute products. Board has to undertake measures for the promotion of growth which includes of making arrangements for the regularization of prices of raw jute, promoting standardization of jute products and its manufactures, to create and encourage scientific and technological research for the development of jute. Board has the duty bound to advise the Central Government on all matters relating to the development and production of jute and its products by furnishing reports to the Central Government on the same.

After the commencement of the Act all matters relating to jute which earlier vests with the Council or Society be transferred to the Board. Under Section 7, there shall be general effect of vesting of Council or Society in Board, any proceeding or cause of action be vested with Board along with rights and liabilities.  Any licenses and any exemptions of tax as specified in Section 8 & 9 be transferred to Board, and it also includes exemption or deduction as specified relates to the term as specified in Income-tax Act, 1961.  As laid in Section 12 and 13 of Act, Board while discharging of any functions bound by the directions on question of policy by Central Government and Board shall given an opportunity to give their views before direction given by the Central Government. If the board not compiled with the decisions of the Central Government, it can supersede the Board for period not exceeding six months.

There shall be fund constituted under Section 14 (2) of Act and it called as Jute Board Fund, all money, grants and sums given by Central Government and any other authorities be credited to Jute Board Fund and fund may be utilized for any expenses of Board while initiating functions laid under Act. The Board has the duty bound to prepare budget for the upcoming financial year and forward to the Central Government as specified in Section 15. Board has another duty bounded under Sections 16, 17 and 18, as it has to prepare annual report and maintain accounts and audit report and submit the same to the Central Government, Central Government after receiving such report submit it to the houses of Parliament. As specified in Section 20, all the members of the Board considers as public servants as dealt in Section 21 of  Indian Penal Code, 1860 and no suit or legal proceeding could be initiated against the Central Government , Board and its members as Act initiated only in good faith. Central Government has the authority to make rules and remove difficulties as specified in Section 21 and 24 of Act which includes matter of appointment of members their salaries and other allowances.  Board under Section 22 has power to make regulations which consistent with the provisions of Act and matter relating to business transaction of Board and terms and services of its employees. Every regulation made under the Act should be laid before the Houses of Parliament for proper approval.

As jute been one of the environmental protection product has its high value in its standards, though India been one among the best in jute manufacturing products it faces challenges regarding the cost and inadequate supply of capital. As Act passed to improvise the standards of jute it is necessary to introduce new techniques and technologies which increase the standard of jute products with lowest price which gain importance in international market. Duty laid on Government to initialize many measures to improvise the jute industry with new technologies for a longer sustainable development.

by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar