Ministry of Textiles07-August, 2013 13:45 IST
Protection of Handloom Weavers


The Government is aware that the stiff competition from powerloom and mill sector, availability of cheaper imported fabrics, choked credit lines and high cost of credit, changing consumer preferences, alternative employment opportunities and economic liberalization has threatened the vibrancy of handloom sector. The Government of India has been following a policy of promotion and encouraging the handloom sector through a number of programmes and schemes.  Due to various policy initiatives and scheme interventions like cluster approach, aggressive marketing initiative, subsidized yarn and credit, skill upgradation, design interventions, technological improvements and social welfare measures, the handloom sector, despite reduction in number of handlooms and handloom weavers, has sustained the handloom cloth production level and the income level of weavers in many clusters/parts of the country has improved.  Therefore, various policy interventions are helping the weavers to cope up with the changing situation.


For protection and promotion of handlooms, the Government has enacted the Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985 wherein 11 textiles articles with certain technical specifications are reserved for exclusive production by handlooms. The Central and the State Governments are the implementing agencies for enforcement of the provisions of the Act in their respective jurisdiction. The Government of India coordinates with States and provides financial assistance to the State Governments for setting up of enforcement machinery at state level for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act. The Government has also promulgated Hank Yarn Obligation to ensure the availability of hank yarn to handloom sector and the implementation of fulfillment of hank yarn obligation by the spinning mills is being monitored by the office of Textile Commissioner. For violation of the provisions under Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985 and Hank Yarn Obligation, FIRs are being regularly lodged against the violators. Further, Geographical Indications of the Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 provides legal protection to prevent unauthorized use of designs/ products registered under the Act by others. All the schemes for promotion and development of handloom sector of the office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms) are being implemented through the respective State Governments. For their effective implementation, the schemes are being reviewed/monitored by the officers of State Government and Central Government through field visits and periodical review and the progress has been found satisfactory.


The Government is aware that handloom weavers are facing stiff competition from powerloom and mill sector due to technological constraints and lower productivity of handlooms in comparison to powerlooms.  For overall development of handloom sector and welfare of handloom weavers, the Government of India has been implementing various schemes. The details of schemes being implemented are as under:-


Integrated Handlooms Development Scheme  provides need based inputs to clusters of    300 – 500 handlooms or Groups of 10 – 100 weavers for making them self sustainable by providing them financial assistance for margin money, new looms and accessories, skill upgradation, marketing opportunities and for construction of worksheds etc. 


Marketing and Export Promotion Scheme provides platform to the weavers and their organizations to participate in the domestic as well as international trade events and sell their products directly to the buyers. 


Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme: This comprises of two separate schemes viz. the Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) for providing Health Insurance to the Handloom weavers and Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY) for providing Life insurance cover in case of natural/ accidental death, total/partial disability due to accident.


Mill Gate Price Scheme: This scheme makes available all types of yarn at mill gate price to the eligible handloom agencies to facilitate regular supply of basic raw material to the handloom weavers and to optimize their employment potential. Under the scheme, the Government of India reimburses the transportation expenses involved in the supply of yarn from mill to godown of the user agencies.    In addition, a new component of 10% price subsidy on hank yarn has been added to the scheme since January 2012 for supply of cotton and silk yarn to handloom weavers and their cooperative societies. 


Diversified Handlooms Development Scheme: This scheme provides assistance for technological  and skill-upgradation of weavers for design and product development through 25 Weavers’ Service Centres and 05 Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology all over the country to improve the productivity and earnings of the handloom weavers.


Revival Reform and Restructuring Package (RRR):In order to open the choked credit lines to enable access to fresh credit for handloom sector, GOI has approved RRR package for waiver of overdue loan as on 31/03/2010 for eligible apex and primary weaver cooperative societies and individual weavers.  The Government has also approved weaver credit card under institutional credit component,  providing margin money assistance@ Rs. 4200/- per weaver, 3% interest subvention for three years and credit guarantee for 3 years by Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.


The information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.







(Release ID :97784)