As per an RBI data, during the first half of 2013-14, exports of jute and jute products from the country totaled to US$ 181.8 million (approx. Rs. 11 billion). The jute sector occupies an important place in the Indian economy and the eastern region in particular. The jute industry provides direct employment to about 0.26 million workers, and supports the livelihood of around 4.0 million farm families.
Around 0.14 million people are engaged in the tertiary sector and allied activities, supporting the jute economy. Presently it also contributes to exports to the tune of nearly Rs.1000 crore. The Indian jute industry, which has been facing several challenges in the past few years such as frequent lockouts, falling financial conditions of mills and low productivity, gained some fillip from this year's union budget with the proposed total exemption of a few jute products from excise duty.