This budget, handloom industry gets a major push and the most important point was that it has identified handloom as handicrafts. In the past, it was recognized as a mass production tool and all policies were getting disturbed.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement of setting up six textile mega-clusters, including one in Tamil Nadu, with a keen focus on reviving handloom will provide a the much-needed fillip to the industry.
The budget has identified six key clusters which don’t make handloom, but rare handicraft. The budget also talks about creating schools there, something like the gurukulam, study there and absorbs the cultural ethos and then produces the heritage handicraft.
According to Manikam Ramaswamy, CMD of Loyal Textile Mills Ltd, this would also aid the tourism sector.
The heritage character of cities, including Kancheepuram - a centre for handloom, will be conserved and preserved under the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana. A sum of Rs 200 crore has been set aside for this.
A Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum with an outlay of Rs 50 crore to develop and promote handloom products has been proposed. The government has also allocated Rs 30 crore and Rs 50 crore respectively for setting up Hastkala Academy for the revival of the handloom/handicraft and Pashmina Promotion Programme, the government seems keen in promoting the skills of the country’s local talent, which is a good sign.
India can boast of a rich heritage of textile design which the country has inherited. This history is carried forth by India’s estimated 16 million crafts people actively involved in creating textile masterpieces, rare in today’s highly mechanized and computerized world.
The sector has the potential of providing lucrative employment to a vast number of the younger generation of crafts people. Ritu Kumar, a textile brand designer congratulates the Finance Minister for identifying the need to recognize one of the unsung resources of India.
The budget’s focus on moving to low cost logistics like inland waterways will also help the textile industry.
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