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Varanasi handloom cluster still to take concrete shape
22
Jul '09
The handloom mega cluster scheme for Varanasi, which was announced in the last budget of 2008-09, is still not being implemented. However, during this year's budget, the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukharjee declared that this scheme is being implemented successfully.

But, actually this scheme is in its primary stage. Currently the weavers are being explained about the nature and benefits of this scheme. To implement the scheme, a consultancy has studied the Varanasi Handloom mega cluster.

This study had been conducted in January, according to which out of 65,000 looms only 45,000 are operational and there are about 250 active designers. However, the mini handloom clusters are operational in number of locations. Each of these mini-clusters has between 25-300 handlooms.

In order to develop the handloom clusters at Varanasi and Sibsagar, a Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS), has been planned, which would be implemented on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. Each of these two clusters covers more than 25,000 looms and will cost around Rs. 70 crore.

About 60 percent weavers have switched their occupations on account of the fall in trade. In this regard the weavers should be informed about the scheme through special camps as there is lack of awareness among the weavers.

The obstacles such as lack of education, insufficient working capital, inadequate infrastructure, poor exposure to new technologies, absence of market intelligence, tough competition with mechanized sector and poor institutional framework are the causes affecting the handloom sector and it is essential to take measures to overcome these hurdles.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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