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The Union Textile Ministry has convened a meeting on Monday in New Delhi to discuss the price capping of raw jute, where officials of the West Bengal Labour Department, the Indian Jute Mills Association as well as the Jute Commissioner would be present, industry sources said.

The development comes after BJP MP Arjun Singh criticised the jute policy of the Centre, and accused the commissioner of crippling the industry by retaining the raw jute price cap at 6,500 per quintal.

"The Union textile secretary has called the meeting at 3 pm at Udyog Bhavan (New Delhi). West Bengal labour secretary, IJMA chairman and the Jute Commissioner will be present during the consultation.

“This is the first meeting by the ministry with all major stakeholders since the price capping was imposed from September 30 last year," one of the sources told PTI.

Bengal government officials said State Labour Secretary Barun Kumar Ray and IJMA Chairman Raghav Gupta have confirmed their presence at the meeting.

“There is a strong possibility of an amicable resolution," a former IJMA official said.

Around 2.5 lakh workers are reportedly employed in jute mills in the districts of Howrah, Hooghly and North 24 parganas.

Singh, the BJP MP from Barrackpore, had threatened to carry out protests at various mills of his constituency to highlight how the Centre's policies are “hurting farmers and workers".

He had also supported West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s demand to remove the price cap on raw jute in the open market, as the current market-driven prices favour farmers.

The Jute Commissioner, however, had said that the price cap was finalised after looking into all aspects, including the farmers' interest.

The regulator also said the price was 2,000 more than the minimum support price.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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