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Indian sericulture workers likely to get MNREGA benefit
Oct '13
Those working in India’s sericulture sector, which mainly consists of small-scale and marginal farmers, are likely to get the benefits of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA), as the Rural Development Ministry has agreed to integrate sericulture workers with the Act, Minister of Textiles K Sambasiva Rao told reporters in New Delhi.
“Just yesterday Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has agreed to integrate sericulture workers, where the farmers are marginal and small scale, with the benefits of MNREGA,” Mr. Rao told media persons after chairing a Conference of State Ministers of Textiles.
MNREGA provides a legal guarantee for at least 100 days of paid employment in every financial year to adult members in rural areas.
Mr. Rao said the Textiles Ministry has decided to increase the production in sericulture from the current 23,000 tons a year to 33,000 tons a year by the end of 12th Five-Year Plan in 2017.
During the day-long discussions with the State Ministers and Secretaries of Textiles, the Textiles Ministry conveyed to the state government representatives to encourage investment in textile sector in various sectors including handloom, handicraft, etc., Mr. Rao said.
He informed the issue of setting up a warehousing facility in one of the Latin American countries has been taken up with the Finance Ministry seeking budget of Rs. 1-2 billion, to be spent in about five years. He said he is hopeful of getting the amount very soon and the Ministry would construct a warehousing facility, possibly in Uruguay, which will help handicraft exporters to double their exports from the present Rs. 170 billion to about Rs. 340 billion in less than three years. 
Highlighting the issue of skills training, Mr. Rao mentioned that the Ministry is “encouraging private institutions and industries” for the same. “We told them that we will give them money for training at the rate of Rs. 10,000 per trainee and they are very happy that they will undertake the training,” informed Dr. Rao. 
At present, the farming area for silk production in India is 181,000 hectares.
Last month, the Government approved continuation of three Central Sector Schemes of the Ministry of Textiles relating to sericulture sector viz, R&D, Training, Transfer of Technology and I.T Initiative (Rs. 20.371 billion), Seed Organization, Coordination & Market Development (Rs.1.594 billion), and Quality Certification System (Rs.118.5 million) during XII Plan. The total allocation for the schemes will be Rs.3.75 billion.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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