An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Jute Board for the development of the cultivation, manufacture and marketing of jute and jute products and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the National Jute Board Act, 2008.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "appointed day" means such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint for the purpose of section 3;
(b) "Board" means the National Jute Board constituted under section 3;
(c) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Board;
(d) "Council" means the Jute Manufactures Development Council established under section 3 of the Jute Manufactures Development Council Act, 1983(27 of 1983);
(e) "Jute" means the plants of jute, kenaf and mesta;
(f) "jute manufacture" shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the Jute Manufactures Cess Act, 1983(28 of 1983);
(g) "member" means a member of the Board and includes the Chairperson;
(h) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(i) "regulations" means regulations made by the Board under this Act;
(j) "Society" means the National Centre for Jute Diversification, a society set up by the Central Government in the Ministry of Textiles and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860(21 of 1860);
(k) "year" means the year commencing on the 1st day of April and ending on the 31st day of March next following.
Section 3. Constitution and incorporation of Board
(1) With effect from the appointed day, the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute, for the purposes of this Act, a Board to be called the National Jute Board.
(2) The Board shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
(3) The head office of the Board shall be at Kolkata in the State of West Bengal or such other place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify and the Board may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, establish offices or agencies at other places in or outside India.
(4) The Board shall consist of the following members, namely:--
(a) the Secretary in charge of the ministry of the Central Government dealing with textiles, who shall be the ex officio Chairperson of the Board;
(b) three Members of Parliament of whom two shall be elected from among themselves by the members of the House of the People and one from among themselves by the members of the Council of States;
(c) the Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, ex officio;
(d) the Joint Secretary (Jute) in the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, ex officio;
(e) two members of the rank of Joint Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government to represent respectively the ministries of the Central Government dealing with --
(i) agriculture, and
(ii) food and public distribution;
(f) three members to be nominated by the Central Government by rotation in the alphabetical order to represent respectively the Governments of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Orissa, Tripura and West Bengal; the nomination shall be from officials of the State Government holding the rank of Secretary to the State Government and dealing with Jute or Textile matters;
(g) three members of jute farmers of which one from State of West Bengal and two from other States on rotational basis to be nominated by the Central Government;
(h) three members of jute workers of which one from State of West Bengal and two from other States nominated by the Central Government on rotational basis;
(i) two experts from the field of jute technology and related field to be nominated by the Central Government;
(j) two members from the "micro enterprises", "small enterprises" and "medium enterprises" dealing in jute industry to be nominated by the Central Government.
Explanation.-- For the purpose of this clause, the expressions "medium enterprise", "micro enterprise" and "small enterprise" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clause (g), clause (h) and clause (m) of section 2 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006(27 of 2006);
(k) two members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent the jute industry in the organised sector;
(l) two members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent the jute industry in the decentralised sector;
(m) two members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent the exporters of jute products;
(n) the Director, Indian Jute Industries Research Association, ex officio;
(o) the Principal, Institute of Jute Technology, ex officio;
(p) the Director, National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibre Technology, Kolkata, ex officio;
(q) the Director, Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres, ex officio;
(r) the Chairman and Managing Director, Jute Corporation of India, ex officio;
(s) the Jute Commissioner, ex officio;
(t) the Secretary, National Jute Board, who shall be the ex officio Member-Secretary of the Board.
(5) The term of office of the members, other than the ex officio members, and the manner of filling vacancies among, and the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, such members shall be as may be prescribed.
(6) The office of members of the Board shall not disqualify its holder for being chosen as, or for being a member of either House of Parliament.
(7) The Chairperson shall, in addition to presiding over the meetings of the Board, exercise and discharge such powers and duties of the Board as may be assigned to him by the Board and such other powers and duties as may be prescribed.
(8) The Board shall elect from among its members a Vice-Chairperson who shall exercise such of the powers and perform such of the functions of the Chairperson as may be prescribed or as may be delegated to him by the Chairperson.
(9) The Board shall meet at such times and places and shall observe such procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at meetings) as may be determined by regulations.
Section 4. Secretary and other officers
(1) The Central Government may appoint the Secretary and such other officers and employees as it considers necessary, for the efficient discharge of the functions of the Board under this Act.
(2) The terms and conditions of service of the Secretary and other officers and employees of the Board shall be such as may be determined by regulations.
Section 5. Functions of Board
(1) It shall be the duty of the Board to promote the development of jute and jute products by such measures as it thinks fit.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the Board may undertake measures to--
(i) evolve an integrated approach to jute cultivation in the matters of formulation of schemes, extension work, implementation and evaluation of schemes aimed at increasing the yield of jute and improving the quality thereon;
(ii) promote production of better quality raw jute;
(iii) enhance productivity of raw jute;
(iv) promote or undertake arrangements for better marketing and stabilisation of the prices of raw jute;
(v) promote standardisation of raw jute and jute products;
(vi) suggest norms of efficiency for jute industry with a view to eliminating waste, obtaining optimum production, improving quality and reducing costs;
(vii) propagate information useful to the growers of raw jute and manufacturers of jute products;
(viii) promote and undertake measures for quality control of raw jute and jute products;
(ix) assist and encourage studies and research for improvement of processing, quality, techniques of grading and packaging of raw jute;
(x) promote or undertake surveys or studies aimed at collection and formulation of statistics regarding raw jute and jute products;
(xi) promote standardisation of jute manufactures;
(xii) promote the development of production of jute manufactures by increasing the efficiency and productivity of the jute industry;
(xiii) sponsor, assist, coordinate, encourage or undertake scientific, technological, economic and marketing research pertaining to the jute sector;
(xiv) maintain and improve existing markets and to develop new markets within the country and outside for jute manufactures and to devise marketing strategies in consonance with the demand for such manufactures in the domestic and international markets;
(xv) sponsor, assist, coordinate or encourage scientific, technological and economic research in the matters related to materials, equipment, methods of production, product development including discovery and development of new materials, equipment and methods and improvements in those already in use in the jute industry;
(xvi) provide and create necessary infrastructural facilities and conditions conducive to the development of diversified jute products by way of assisting the entrepreneurs, artisans, craftsman, designers, manufacturers, exporters, non-Governmental agencies in the following manner, namely:--
(a) transfer of technology from research and development institutions and other organisations in India and abroad;
(b) providing support services to the entrepreneurs for the implementation of their projects including technical guidance and training;
(c) organizing entrepreneurial development programmes;
(d) planning and executing market promotion strategies including exhibitions, demonstrations, media campaigns in India and abroad;
(e) providing financial assistance by way of subsidy or seed capital;
(f) providing a forum to the people engaged or interested in diversified jute products for interacting with various national and international agencies, engaged in the jute and jute textile sector;
(xvii) organize workshops, conferences, lectures, seminars, refresher courses and set up study groups and conduct training programmes for the purpose of promotion and development of jute and jute products;
(xviii) undertake research on jute seed to improve quality and to shorten the gestation period of jute crop;
(xix) incorporate measures for sustainable Human Resource Development of the jute sector and to provide necessary funds for the same;
(xx) modernisation of jute sector and technology development;
(xxi) take steps to protect the interests of jute growers and workers and to promote their welfare by improving their livelihood avenues;
(xxii) secure better working conditions and provisions and improvement of amenities and incentives for workers engaged in the jute industry;
(xxiii) register jute growers and manufacturers on optional basis;
(xxiv) collect statistics with regard to jute and jute products for compilation and publication;
(xxv) subscribe to the share capital of or enter into any arrangement (whether by way of partnership, joint venture or any other manner) with any other body corporate for the purpose of promoting the jute sector or for promotion and marketing of jute and jute products in India and abroad.
(3) It shall be the duty of the Board-
(a) to advise the Central Government on all matters relating to the development of raw jute and the jute industry, including import and export of jute and jute products;
(b) to prepare and furnish reports relating to the jute sector as may be required by the Central Government from time to time.
Section 6. The Council and Society to Vest in Board
(1) On and from the appointed day, there shall be transferred to, and vest in, the Board constituted under section 3, the Council and the Society.
(2) The Council and the Society which is transferred to, and which vests in, the Board under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to include all assets, rights, powers, authorities and privileges and all property movable and immovable, real or personal, corporeal or incorporeal, present or contingent, of whatever nature and wheresoever situate, including lands, buildings, machinery, equipments, cash balances, capital, reserves, reserve funds, investments, tenancies, leases and book debts and all other rights and interests arising out of such property as were immediately before the appointed day in the ownership or possession or power of the Council, or as the case may be, the Society, whether within or outside India, all books of account and documents relating thereto and shall also be deemed to include all borrowings, liabilities and obligations of whatever kind then subsisting of the Society, or as the case may be, the Council.
Section 7. General effect of Vesting of Council and Society in Board
(1) All contracts, agreements and working arrangements subsisting immediately before the appointed day and affecting the Council, or, as the case may be, the Society shall, in so far as they relate to the Council, or, as the case may be, the Society, cease to have effect or be enforceable against the Council, or, as the case may be, the Society and shall be of as full force and effect against or in favour of the Board in which the Council and the Society have vested by virtue of this Act and enforceable as fully and effectively as if, instead of the Council, or, as the case may be, the Society, the Board had been named therein or had been a party thereto.
(2) Any proceeding, suit or cause of action pending or existing immediately before the appointed day by or against the Council or the Society may, as from that day, be continued and enforced by or against the Board in which it has vested by virtue of this Act, as it might have been enforced by or against the Council or the Society if this Act had not been passed, and shall cease to be enforceable by or against the Council or, as the case may be, the Society.
Section 8. Licences, etc. to be deemed to have been granted to Board
With effect from the appointed day, all licences, permits, quotas and exemptions, granted to the Council or the Society in connection with the affairs and business of the Council, or, as the case may be, the Society, under any law for the time being in force, shall be deemed to have been granted to the Board in which the Council and the Society have vested by virtue of this Act.
Section 9. Tax exemption or benefit to continue have effect
(1) Where any exemption from, or any assessment with respect to, any tax has been granted or made or any benefit by way of set off or carry forward, as the case may be, of any unabsorbed depreciation or investment allowance or other allowance or loss has been extended or is available to the Council or the Society, under the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961), such exemption, assessment or benefit shall continue to have effect in relation to the Board in which the Council and the Society have vested by virtue of this Act.
(2) Where any payment made by the Council or the Society is exempted from deduction of tax at source under any provision of the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961) the exemption from tax will continue to be available as if the provisions of the said Act made applicable to the Council or the Society were operative in relation to the Board in which the Council and the Society have vested by virtue of this Act.
(3) The transfer and vesting of the Council or the Society in terms of section 6 shall not be construed as a transfer within the meaning of the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961) for the purposes of capital gains.
Section 10. Guarantee to be operative
Any guarantee given for or in favour of the Council or the Society with respect to any loan or lease finance shall continue to be operative in relation to the Board in which the Council and the Society have vested by virtue of this Act.