Writes to Centre for upgradation of power looms and sanction of Block-Level Handloom Clusters
Hyderabad: Telangana has a rich heritage in handlooms and handicrafts in which a large number of artisans are employed in rural areas, IT and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao has said.
“There are more than 40,000 handloom workers concentrated mainly in Yadadri-Bhongir, Jogulamba-Gadwal, Warangal, Rajanna-Sircilla, and Karimnagar districts apart from about 49,000 power looms in the State out of which 36,000 alone are in Sircilla,” he said in a letter to Union Minister for Women Child Development and Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.
With the strong presence of both handloom and power loom sectors and due to its economic significance, there was a need to strengthen the development of the above sectors in the State by sanctioning the proposals which include sanctioning of Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (I.I.H.T) to Telangana, he said in the letter.
Currently, there was no such institute in the State to offer a course in diploma in handloom technology, and students were forced to go to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to take admissions in IIHT.
Keeping in view the potential in the handloom sector and the necessity of creating a skilled human resource, there was a dire need to set up an IIHT in Telangana. This would attract the youth to the handloom sector and generate employment for them, besides contributing to the strengthening of the handloom industry with the latest technological and design interventions, said Rama Rao.
Rama Rao said sufficient land with a building was available at the Handloom Park in Pochampally, Yadadri-Bhonagir, for the establishment of IIHT.
He also sought up-gradation of power looms under In-SITU scheme and sanction of Block-Level Handloom Clusters under the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP). “We have laid high emphasis on the sector to create jobs for our local population and to contribute to the country’s GDP and exports,” he said, stressing the impact of Covid-19 on Indian handloom, textiles, and apparel industry.
During the interaction with members of the textile industry, both within the State and outside, the common refrain from them was that the recovery would be very slow and contingent upon western world commencing regular operations, the State Minister said.
Several companies had had their orders cancelled and shipments put on hold and were facing zero revenues and cash flows. “I am seriously worried about the sustenance of the industry and the resulting impact on the livelihoods of millions of workers,” he said.
On the other hand, it was obvious that the large global consumers would have to de-risk their supply chains and reduce dependence on major suppliers such as China. This offers a huge opportunity for India to attract further investments to meet the resurgence in the consumption a few months down the line, the Minister said.
“In this scenario, we should protect the livelihood of people as well as exploit the emerging opportunities for creating new jobs, and increase our exports,” Rama Rao said.
He made key suggestions to meet the immediate and medium-term requirements to protect the industry and create more jobs for people. The suggestions include short-term policy support, reassurance to workers on the resumption of operations, banking support, asset classification, incentives to exporters, GST refunds, promotion of manmade fibres, cotton procurement support and attraction of investments by the industry.
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