Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday said the handloom products of the State have the capacity to capture the world market and “we need best marketing strategies for that”.
“Traditionally Assam’s women weavers have always been able to earn respect and appreciation from around the world and our weavers now must take up the challenge of supplying enough gamosa in the festive season to make the imported ones unwanted,” said Chief Minister Sonowal while speaking as the Chief Guest at the State level function of the 4th National Handloom Day organised by the Handloom and Textiles Department, Government of Assam at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra here.
Saying that there is a conducive business atmosphere in the State in the aftermath of Advantage Assam: Global Investors’ Summit which resulted in the signing of over 700 MoUs for investment of Rs 79,000 crore, Sonowal urged the weavers of the state to take full advantage of Act East Policy to gain access to the South East Asian market with their handloom products.
Handloom and weaving can be a means for the womenfolk of the state to empower themselves economically and this will result in true implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “beti bachao, beti padhao” campaign, he said.
Appreciating the Handloom and Textiles Department for opening two ‘thread banks’ for the weavers of the State where they can purchase threads at subsidised rates, the Chief Minister urged the department to take action plans to realise Prime Minister Modi’s ‘5F’ Formula – Farm to fibre; fibre to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign. He also praised the department for earning accolades for the state’s handlooms in Textiles India 2017 exhibition which was held in Ahmadabad last year.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Handloom and Textiles Department Ranjit Dutta informed that ‘Sipinee Samaroh’ (Weavers’ Conclave) will be organised at different parts of the State by his department for which a total budget of Rs 3 crore has been earmarked. He also said that department is giving more emphasis on research and development of handloom products at its Handloom Research and Designing Centre in the city.
The department is also mulling a step to provide Rs 25,000 as assistance to those opting for self employment among the 97 trainees who pass out every year from the four Handloom Training Institute in the state, he informed. He also said that threads are being provided to the weavers at 20 percent subsidised rate and mobile vans are also being used for distributing threads in interior places of the State.
A handloom policy would soon be implemented in the state and 100 SHGs engaged in handloom in the State would be given financial assistance upto Rs 5 lakh, he said.
Hailakandi MLA Anwar Hussain Laskar, Chairman of Khadi and Gramodyog Board Kamala Kalita, Principal Secretary of Handloom and Textiles Department Hemanta Narzary, Director of Handloom and Textiles Department Bishnu Kamal Bora were also present in the meeting among others.