The Annual Conference of State Textiles Ministers was held on Wednesday at Scope Complex, Lodhi Road where Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Textiles Santosh Gangwar discussed the provisions of the proposed New Textile Policy such as introducing flexible labour laws and setting up integrated textile parks with States.
Participating at the conference, Govindas Konthoujam, Minister of Sericulture, Commerce and Industries, Manipur introduced a brief account of the status of handloom industry in Manipur.
As per the National Handloom Census 2009-10, Manipur has highest concentration of both weavers and loom in the country with a figure of 2.04 lakh weavers and 1.90 lakh looms.
Referring to the opportunities so far given by Govt of India to Manipur; he stated that the Ministry of Textiles extended the State the opportunity to implement various Centrally Sponsored Schemes under the Development Commissioner for Handlooms and Handicraft, Power loom and Sericulture directly.
Presently, the State is implementing handloom cluster development project, catalytic development project and Manipur Sericulture Project phase-II, handicrafts clusters and Guru Award among others.
Coming to sericulture, Govindas said that Manipur is also a unique State in the country where four varieties of silk namely, Tasar, Mulberry, Eri and Muga are grown.
During 1998-2008 looking at this potential, Japan Bank of International Co-operation (JBIC) funded Manipur Sericulture Project-I for infrastructure development.
He further stated that on 17.12.2013, the Ministry of Textiles approved the Manipur Sericulture Project Phase-II at the cost of Rs 149 crore for generating employment to 46933 families in four valley districts.
He proposed to the Ministry to consider Manipur Sericulture Project Phase-II for covering remaining tribal community of five hill districts of the State to ensure equal growth in all areas.
Govindas also proposed introduction of Mega Handloom Cluster as a National Scheme in the States where minimum weavers is more than 1.00 lakh as the eligibility criteria.
For setting up of a Textile Park under the North Eastern Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) Govindas pointed out that the Ministry had Integrated Textile Park where there were certain minimum criteria which North Eastern States like Manipur had limitation to fulfil the criteria laid down in the guidelines.
He therefore proposed to include the Textile Park in NERTPS to cater to all sectors of power loom, handloom, handicrafts, garmenting, value addition units, finishing and packaging units.
With regard to the implementation of Handloom Schemes by State Government Govindas stated that most of the Handicraft Schemes under the Central Plan Scheme did not require the State share in the implementation.
He proposed to the Union Government to allow the State Government to implement the handloom schemes of DC (Handlooms) in a similar manner.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry also proposed to introduce online submission of project proposal for speedy accuracy in all the schemes of the Ministry.
Govindas expressed hope that the Union Minister of Textiles would be taking serious view for promotion and development of handlooms, handicrafts and sericulture in the North Eastern Region, in particular and the country, in general. The textile sector can flourish further in the near future.
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