The powerloom sector in South India has sought further reduction in the number of products reserved for handloom textile items. The number has already been reduced from 21 items to 11.
Arguing that there are more products that require intricate skills and the demand for which cannot be met by the handloom sector, chairman of Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) M Duraisamy said restriction must be lifted from those items too.
The council chairman said that a bulk of the handloom weavers in the country were based in the North-Eastern states where women take to weaving as a “part time” activity which leaves a huge gap between demand and production.
The handlooms sector’s productivity is quite low despite 22 lakh handlooms in the country as against 24 lakh power looms.
The textile items reserved for handlooms include saris with extra warp and extra weft designs, saris with solid coloured woven border, tie and dye saris, dhotis, towel and ‘angavastram’, lungi, ‘jamakkalamdurry, and shawl.
According to official sources, the centre has constituted a committee to amend the Handloom Reservation Act, to pave way for removing some items from the list, the report said. Advocates for the handloom sector based at Chennimalai are apprehensive that dilution of the Handloom Reservation Act will spell the sector’s doom.