The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurates the first North East Investorsâ€™ Summit held at the State Convention Centre, in Shillong yesterday. The Summit is being organized exclusively for the North Eastern Region, focusing on manufacturing in textiles and allied sectors; and to showcase the region as a global destination for investment and explore the possibility of convergence of efforts of various central Ministries and North Eastern States in attracting investment into the region.
The summit is organized jointly by the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of DoNER. The first day of the summit had focus sessions on Showcasing Opportunities in Textiles in North East by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of DoNER, Entrepreneurship Development and Start-ups and Enhancing Reach of North East Textiles through Textile Design and Marketing.
Smrti Irani in her inaugural address thanked the Government of Meghalaya for the successful conduct of the summit, the Minister said that the participation of nearly sixty top export houses of the country is a testimony to Government of Indiaâ€™s belief in the potential of the North Eastern region. The huge participation in the summit showed not only the trust and belief in the investment opportunities in the North Eastern Region, but also the investorsâ€™ belief that the cooperation among the Government of India and Governments of North Eastern states will result in exponential multi-sectoral growth in the region.
The Union Textiles Minister said that this is the first ever North East Investors Summit dedicated to the textiles sector, in the history of India. The wide participation of export houses, councils and investors would ensure that support is given to local industries across the North Eastern Region, in marketing facilities, technical guidance, design intervention and also in areas that require expertise, especially in relation to exports.
Smt. Irani also expressed her happiness in seeing the support for handlooms and handicrafts, which she said is a legacy of the North Eastern Region. The participation of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, DoNER Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and MoS, Home, Shri Kiren Rijiju is itself an exhibition of the commitment of the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi towards the â€˜Act East Policyâ€™. There is definite movement on the ground, to ensure that the Prime Ministerâ€™s vision for the development of the North Eastern Region is implemented wholeheartedly.
The Summit was also attended by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog Dr. Arvind Panagariya; Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr Mukul Sangma; Union Minister of State (I/C), DoNER and Chairman, NEC Dr. Jitendra Singh; Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju; Minister for Textiles, Government of Assam, Shri Ranjit Dutta; Minister for Industries, Governement of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Tamiyo Taga; Minister for Industries, Government of Mizoram, Shri H. Rohluna; and representatives from all eight North Eastern States and investors from across the country.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Textiles alone has sanctioned projects worth more than Rs. 1,040 crore for the North Eastern Region. Textile promotion schemes of handloom, handicrafts, sericulture and garmenting are being implemented, so that the Central government can add to the efforts of the state governments in creating more employment opportunities.
The Minister appreciated the efforts of handloom designers and pointed out the uniqueness of products available in NER, giving an example of the organic carpet of Sikkim. The Minister informed that the Government of India is in a position to infuse Rs. 820 crore for supporting sericulture in the region; she said that this is estimated to impact around 3.95 lakh families, 70% of the resultant employment opportunities accruing to women.
The Minister informed the gathering that master craftsmen from the handloom sector will impart training to students across the various NIFT centres in the country, beginning from the coming academic session. This will enable the students to learn the legacy craft and imbibe this into contemporary fashion.
Minister of State (I/C) for DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Government of India is concerned about the exodus of youth from North Eastern states in search of quality education and livelihood, to other regions in the country and even abroad. Dr. Singh said that a summit of this kind will promote entrepreneurship through textiles and will also create enormous job opportunities in the region. Speaking on the potential of handlooms and handicrafts in the region, Dr. Singh said that North East is the reservoir of textiles, and that it houses nearly 60% of the entire handloom potential of the country. He informed that the Ministry of DoNER will provide initial Venture Capital Fund for start-ups in NER.
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju complimented the efforts of the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of DoNER in promoting trade in the region and in preserving the age-old handlooms and handicrafts tradition of the North East.
According to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya,, Dr. Mukul Sangma, the Summit provides an opportunity to showcase the talents of the weavers and to better tap into available job avenues. The Summit will create opportunities for the cultivators and weavers to fend for themselves and enable them to improve their livelihood. As the textiles industry is inter-connected with all sorts of activities and people, the summit will benefit people at the grassroots level.
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