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Karnataka weavers unhappy over losing govt order
08
Feb '12
Handloom weavers in the south Indian State of Karnataka are angry over the government's decision to invite tenders from private companies in Gujarat for procuring school uniforms.

Every year, under the 'Vidya Vikasa' scheme, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education under the State government provides uniforms free of cost to students enrolled in primary and high schools run by the Department.

The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC) was providing fabrics for these uniforms to the State Department until last year. However, this year, the Department has already invited tenders worth Rs. 150 billion from the private sector in Gujarat.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, MD Lakshminarayana, President of the Karnataka State Weavers' Association and Chairperson of KHDC, said, “The weavers had defaulted for one month as they could not fulfill the order and deliver on time. So, the Primary and Secondary Education Department is looking for alternative sources for procuring the uniforms for which private companies in Gujarat are being favoured.”

“There are 10,000 handloom weaving units in Karnataka, which support about 12,000 families. About 3 million metres of fabric goes into making of uniforms, for which the government has invited Rs. 150 million worth of tenders from Gujarat. This decision is likely to affect the handloom weaving units in the State,” he reveals.

“The situation arose due to the Department's placing order with KHDC on a short notice of only one month, which was unfair and impractical. We protest the government's decision to sideline KHDC for procuring fabrics for school uniforms,” he explains.

The KHDC Chairperson avers that the government can still opt to procure the required fabric from the Corporation. He says, “We have asked the Education Department to place their orders well in advance so we can plan and allocate the work properly as per the required quantities and ensure timely delivery. Alternatively, KHDC can enter into an agreement with the Department and then work in a systematic manner. The Weavers Association and the weavers have the capacity and the capability to fulfill the orders if their conditions are met.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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