The government of India has taken progressive steps towards developing the textile industry, especially in the north-eastern region of India, which accounts for nearly fifty percent of weavers in the country, comprising mostly of women.
August 7 was declared as National Handloom day by the union government to “honour the handloom weavers in the country and also highlight India’s handloom industry,” a press release from the Union Ministry of Textiles stated. The celebration of 5th National Handloom Day seeks to draw attention to the importance of handloom to the socio-economic development of the country and increase the income of weavers, the statement read.
According to a report from the Union Ministry of Textiles, the government has implemented the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) in order to promote the textile industry in the Northeast region. Under this scheme, INR 1200 cr. and GoI’s share of INR 1150 cr. have been sanctioned covering all sub-sectors of textiles including handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture, power-looms, apparel and garmenting. NERTPS seeks to promote sustainable growth of the textile industry in the NE by providing support through infrastructure, new technology, capacity building and market access, the report stated.
One of the initiatives of NERTPS is to promote sericulture, and 24 projects covering Mulberry, Eri and Muga silk have been implemented in the NE so far. The primary objective of these projects is to establish sericulture as a viable commercial activity by educating and imparting the locals with silk rearing skills and creating the necessary infrastructure.
A total of 16 Integrated Sericulture Development Project (ISDP) have been implemented in Assam including Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura. These projects include setting up of Silk Printing and Processing unit in Tripura, Soil to Silk for BTC, and Post Cocoon Technology for Nagaland.
Moreover, INR 236.78 cr. has been sanctioned under this scheme to import substitute bivoltine silk under the Integrated Bivoltine Sericulture Development Project (IBSDP).
Another project for the construction of seed grainage units has been implemented to create quality seeds in Mulberry, Eri and Muga silk sectors. The project, with a total cost of INR 37.71 cr. aims to construct six seed units: One Mulberry seed unit in Jorhat (Assam), four Muga seed units in Silchar (Assam), Mokokchung (Nagaland), Kokrajhar (BTC) and Tura (Meghalaya), and one Eri seed unit at Topatoli (Assam).
NERTPS has also introduced apparel and garment making project to “promote industrial garments in North East through local entrepreneurs”, the report stated. Under this project, centres equipped with “high-end industrial machinery” have been set up in the north-eastern states at INR 18.18 cr. per centre. Seven such facilities have been inaugurated so far.
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