Govt chalks out new strategies to develop, promote handloom sector

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-04-20 11:00:00 – New Delhi

Union Textiles Minister, Santosh Kumar Gangwar who is also the Chairman of All India Handloom Board speaking at the first meeting of the recently constituted All India Handloom Board was held in New Delhi, on 19th April said that the Government is committed to develop and promote handloom sector. He gave an overview of the various initiatives being taken by the Government for the development of the sector.

The Minister conveyed to the Board members that the Government under the leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is implementing a newly chalked out strategy for revival and resurgence of the handloom industry.

He said that they are working with a vision to increase the wages of skilled handloom weavers to the level of Rs. 500/- per day. Their major interventions will be to cover five lakh weavers in MUDRA Scheme in next three years and also to take up 300 more block level clusters for development.

Gangwar said that the new strategy for revival of the handloom industry has the core objective of increasing the earnings of handloom weavers through skill upgradation, loom upgradation, availability of good quality raw material at cheaper rates, availability of adequate credit facilities, product design and development and branding for effective marketing.

Gangwar recalled Government's declaration of 7th August as National Handloom Day, as a mark of recognition and respect for the contribution of millions of handloom weavers across the country to our economy as well as to the rich culture and tradition.

The first National Handloom Day was celebrated all over the country and at the main function in Chennai, Hon'ble Prime Minister was himself the Chief Guest. To give a new identity to handloom industry, the 'India Handloom Brand' too was launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister on the occasion.

The Textiles Minister said that the new strategy is demand-driven, so that production can be made according to consumer preferences.

The most important initiative in this regard has been the launch of 'India Handloom' Brand, aimed at regaining consumer confidence, through quality endorsement in terms of authenticity, azo-free dyes, and fast colours.

The 'India Handloom' Brand registration has so far been granted to 170 handloom producing agencies and weavers in 41 product categories.

Gangwar said that this is being supported through a comprehensive marketing campaign. He said that India Handloom brand producers have reported a sale of more than Rs.15 crore within a period of about four months. A marketing research study is also being undertaken. The Minister also spoke of the open door e-commerce policy framework. He added that more buyer-seller meets would be held, to strengthen marketing linkages.

Gangwar recalled that the amount sanctioned for mega clusters in year 2015-16 was highest ever, at Rs. 37.11 crore; further, a record number of 175 block level clusters have been sanctioned in 21 states.

The Minister said that a block level cluster can avail financial assistance up to Rs. 2.00 crore. He also highlighted the increased assistance given during FY 2015-'16, in terms of skill upgradation, technology upgradation and CFCs. The Textiles Minister said that the budget utilization for handloom sector in the year 2015-16 was Rs. 591 crore, which is 25% higher than the previous year.

Speaking of the initiatives taken to improve managerial skills in the handloom sector, Gangwar highlighted the introduction of four-year course in handloom technology, at Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT), Salem and launching of handloom entrepreneur course at IIHTs at Bargarh, Varanasi and Salem. The Minister added that national awards in design intervention and marketing have been instituted in order to encourage innovation in handloom sector.

The Minister informed that the Government has come out with a new model of credit for handloom sector; this has been done by combining elements of concessional credit such as margin money, interest subvention and credit guarantee cover with the innovative features of MUDRA scheme, launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister.

A pilot project has been successfully implemented in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, and is being extended to seven other clusters. The Minister informed that the per capita credit has gone up from about Rs. 23000/- to more than Rs. 50,000/-; some loans have been sanctioned even up to Rs. 5.00 lakh. The beneficiary is given a RUPAY card through which he/she can withdraw money from ATM. The Government sought cooperation of state governments to implement the scheme all over India.

The government is aiming to enhance handloom exports from about Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 4,500 crore in next three years.


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