Zohra Chatterji, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles has expressed serious concern over the negative growth witnessed in the handloom sector at the meet organised by the National Handloom Development Corporation under the aegis of Development Commissioner for Handlooms and supported by National Textile Corporation for establishing market linkages and capacity building.
The meet is organized to bring together weavers, designers and retail brands on one platform to exchange ideas and transact business.
In the overall textile scenario, which has been recording growth of 5 per cent despite the general slowdown in other sectors of the economy, handloom has been showing negative growth.
The Indian handloom sector provides direct and indirect employment to more than 43 lakh weavers and allied workers. As of now, the share of handloom products in total cloth production is only 11 per cent as compared to powerloom, which is about 60 per cent.
According to the textile ministry, the strength of handloom sector is in jeopardy due to the competition from the powerloom and mill sector, availability of cheaper imported fabrics, changing consumer preferences and alternative employment opportunities.
So the textile ministry thought that there has to be a way that the incremental margins, available on handlooms has to percolate down to the weaver in terms of increase in wages which they get because other options such as even MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) are available now.
However, the textile ministryâ€™s big challenge is on how to apprehend the decline and preserve the tradition of the exquisite weaving which only handlooms can produce.
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