Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday directed the textiles and handicrafts department to finalize all modalities to procure government office requirements from local NGOs, societies, self-help groups and entrepreneurs in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi call to go ‘vocal for local’.

Chairing a meeting with the officials concerned at his office here, Khandu said that the process must be completed in a fixed timeframe and assured coordination and support to the department in its endeavour.

“All requirements of government establishments will be procured from local producers only through the textiles and handicrafts department,” he said.

“This will not only boost our self-sustainability but also benefit our local producers, who at the moment are suffering due to want of markets to sell their products,” Khandu added.

The chief minister appreciated the department’s initiative of producing face masks from Eri silk based on traditional tribal designs for distribution to healthcare workers, police personnel and the state secretariat.

He said if these are produced in mass with standard quality check, the designer masks can garner a big market even outside the state and country.

The chief minister said it was time for the department to ramp up its activities and focus mainly on tying up with local producers and start offering products to buyers, starting with all state government establishments.

He expressed satisfaction on the information that the department has already received an order from the health department for bed sheets for all health centres in the state.

Khandu, however, urged the department to equip itself to meet the demands, which he said will grow tremendously in future.

The chief minister suggested that while framing the guidelines, a provision needs to be kept that requirements of a district should be met up from producers of that particular district so that everybody gets equal opportunity to benefit from the initiative.

He said that the department should upgrade its web portal with a new window for accepting orders online.

Khandu appreciated the suggestion for issuing an advisory to all state government employees to don a local tribal attire of choice to the office at least once a month.

He requested the chief secretary to take note and act as required.

The central government scheme – Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) – under the MSME sector, which is yet to be tapped by the state government, was also discussed in detail.

Under this scheme, traditional industries and artisans are organized into clusters to make them competitive and provide support for their long-term sustainability, sustained employment, enhanced marketability and equip traditional artisans with improved skills.

The department is in the process of identifying NGOs in the coordination of deputy commissioners for 25 such clusters in the state.

Proposal: The textiles and handicrafts department has proposed to upgrade all its production centres spread across the state besides procuring and installing power looms.

The proposal from the department came during a meeting held at the civil secretariat here on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by chief minister Pema Khandu.

While setting a target to impart training and supply of queen bee and bee boxes to about 360 beneficiaries this year, the department also plans to upgrade the beekeeping centre at Sille in East Siang district.

Under the new initiative, the department proposes to procure and sell all textile products including Eri and Muga silk, handicrafts and furniture – wood, bamboo and cane.

While acting as the nodal agency between local artisans and customers, the department will have control over quality as well as the price.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com