Handloom, besides being one of the most important cottage industry in the State of Manipur, is also one of the fast growing industries, having highest concentration of weavers and highest concentration regarding possession of looms in the country, said M Rajen Singh, Additional Director (Handloom) of Commerce & Industries Department, Government of Manipur.
As per the Handloom Census 2009-10, Manipur has 2.04 lakh handloom workers and 1.90 lakh looms.
The Additional Director further informed that the Handlooms and Textiles Section under the Department of Commerce & Industries, Govt of Manipur is mandated to improve the socio-economic conditions of the handloom weavers. It has taken up several schemes and activities.
Some of these are provision of a sum of Rs 4000 and Rs 6000 per weaver to 18272 weavers under the Deen Dayal Hathkargha Protsahan Yojana (DDHPY) and Integrated Handloom Development Scheme (IHDS) respectively.
Assistance for skill upgradation was given to 14497 weavers under DDHPY and IHDS for increased production. Around 11550 weavers will be trained under Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) within 2017.
The Handloom and Textile section constructed a total of 115 Common Facility Centres (CFCs) at the cost of Rs 553.93 lakh under DDHPY and IHDS for carrying out common activities, like warping, dyeing, pre and post-loom operation.
It has also constructed worksheds for 17042 weavers at a cost of Rs 600.67 lakhs under Workshed-Cum-Housing Scheme, IHDS and North Eastern Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).
Further to facilitate weavers to work in a group of 5-6, group worksheds with solar home light were constructed at the cost of Rs 1071 lakh under NERTPS.
In a bid to monitor, supervise and produce new and attractive designs, a total of 166 diploma and degree holders in handloom technology, textile technology and fashion technology and fashion designers were employed in 117 handloom clusters with 100 percent Central assistance of Rs 1016.40 lakh under IHDS and NERTPS.
In order to ensure regular availability of yarn of requisite counts for a month, one-time assistance was provided as a corpus fund to the National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC) to ensure supply of yarn to 117 yarn depots of 117 handloom clusters with a corpus fund of Rs 274.50 lakh under IHDS and NERTPS.
The inauguration of Panthoibi Arcade, Wangkhei by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Nov 26, 2015 which was constructed at a cost of 488.43 will give a big boost to the sale and popularization of handloom products of the State.
There are 10 shops in the ground and first floors in the arcade while the second and third floors house exhibition and training hall.
The launching of the Powerloom & Allied Service Centre at Industrial Estate, Takyelpat by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on June 6, 2014 at the cost of Rs 94 lakh funded fully by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India is another notable achievement of the department.
The registration of three Manipur handloom fabrics, namely, Shaphee Lanphee, Wangkhei Phee and Moirang Phee under Geographical Indication of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 on March 31, 2014 by the Registrar of GI and Trade Marks, Govt of India is again a big achievement which will ensure that the design is not plagiarized.
The various activities and schemes taken up by the Department of Commerce & Industries is taken up to improve the socio-economic condition of the people of the State by way of extending financial assistance, providing training and other skill development measures to and other help to weavers, artisans, entrepreneurs and others.
One of the significant developments in the future which will boost trade and commerce with neighbouring countries especially with Myanmar and other South East Asian countries is the setting up of a Multi Storied Shopping Complex at Moreh. Project cost for construction of Multi Storied Shopping Complex is Rs 2171.80 lakh.
The construction of this Shopping Complex was completed and Secretary (Commerce), Government of India inaugurated the Complex on January 24, 2016.
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