Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is planning to upgrade its six cotton sliver plants under the Khadi Reform Development Program (KRDP) this year in order to increase supply of cotton to Khadi institutions. Most of the plants are more than three decades old and it is necessary to change technology which will also increase the production capacity for better supply, said V K Saxena, chairman of KVIC.
The commission will spend about Rs 35-40 crore on the upgradation of the plants. In the first quarter of next financial year, upgradation will be commissioned in all the six plants as the result . . With the upgradation of existing plants, the production capacity will increase by 40 percent from current four million kgs to 5.6 million kgs a year.
Looking at the rising demand of khadi, they are also considering setting up two new sliver plants. However, it will take some time as detail report is yet to be prepared.
KVIC is planning to provide sales platform to products made in prisons across India. At the annual board meeting at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the commission had taken this decision. KVIC has been encouraging prison inmates to take up khadi production.
It is observed that these prisons made products attain high quality, as witnessed in the jails of Gurugram and Tihar, where rehabilitation efforts are in progress. As an extension of these ongoing efforts, they have decided to provide a sale platform in KVIC's Khadi outlets.
Based on the success of the pilot khadi sales through prisoners, the commission will tie up with more prisons in the country.
The commission has set about Rs 1,900-2,000 crore sales target of khadi and village industries products in the year 2016-17, the KVIC chairman claiming 80 percent achievement of the target so far. Last year sales stood at Rs 1,510 crore. Going forward, KVIC is aiming at sales worth Rs 5,000 crore in next two years.
Recognizing the importance of enhancing the wages of khadi artisans to a moderate level and in order to ensure that khadi profession provides sustainable life support, the commission will increase the remuneration per hank (a coil or skein of yarn) from the existing Rs 5.50 to Rs 7 with effect from April 2017. This will increase the income of over 1.5 million khadi artisans across India. Higher wages will help improve khadi production in India.
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