KOLKATA: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani today applauded the low-cost jute based sanitary napkin developed by Indian Jute Industries Research Association (IJIRA) here and asked the body to help promote women entrepreneurship.
''The jute-based sanitary napkins are natural and do not have many chemical interventions compared to normal napkins available.
I want IJIRA to make presentations to ministries like women empowerment and rural development to promote women entrepreneurship,'' Irani said at the inauguration of a IJIRA technical seminar.
She said as the machinery requirement for the jute-based sanitary napkins will cost about Rs 10 lakhs, and entrepreneurs can benefit from MUDRA loan scheme of the government.
The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) scheme provides refinance support to Banks / MFIs for lending to micro units having loan requirement up to 10 lakh.
IJIRA deputy director S K Chakrabarti said the research in sanitary napkins has reached the commercial exploitation stage.
An incubation-cum-training centre was inaugurated by the union minister today at the IJIRA facility.
Chakrabarti said the body is working with self-help groups to promote the technology by training women in this new centre.
Speaking about jute diversification, Irani said geo-textile is one of the major areas where jute industry can benefit.
The government, she said, has sanctioned Rs 427 crore for use of geo-textiles in the north-east region.
The union minister also said the government support will continue to modernise jute industry and farming.
'Subhra' is one such technological intervention by which mandays involved in the extraction of jute fibres are drastically reduced with improved quality.
Irani said that for jute MSP operation government has spent Rs 46.86 crore.