At the first meeting of the recently constituted All India Handloom Board in New Delhi yesterday, textiles minister, Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that the new strategy for revival of the handloom industry has the core objective of increasing the earnings of handloom weavers through skill upgradation, loom upgradation, availability of good quality raw material at cheaper rates, availability of adequate credit facilities, effective marketing etc.
“We are working with a vision to increase the wages of skilled handloom weavers to the level of Rs.500/- per day. Our major interventions will be to cover five lakh weavers in Mudra Scheme in next three years and also to take up 300 more block level clusters for development. We are also aiming to enhance handloom exports from about Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 4,500 crore in next three years,” Gangwar said.
The new strategy, he said, is demand-driven, so that production can be made according to consumer preferences. He said that the most important initiative in this regard has been the launch of ‘India Handloom’ Brand, aimed at regaining consumer confidence, through quality endorsement in terms of authenticity, azo-free dyes, and fast colours.
Gangwar informed that ‘India Handloom’ Brand registration has so far been granted to 170 handloom producing agencies and weavers in 41 product categories. He said that this is being supported through a comprehensive marketing campaign. India Handloom brand producers have reported a sale of more than Rs.15 crore within a period of about four months. A marketing research study is also being undertaken. More buyer-seller meets would be held, to strengthen marketing linkages, he said.
On the supply side, the government has significantly expanded its support to handloom clusters, in terms of Common Facility Centres (CFCs), skill upgradation, assistance for loom upgradation and effective project management through services of full time cluster development executives and competent designers.