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Handloom sector may find respite after experts meet
Nov '09
A meeting will be held on Wednesday of the Consultative Group of Experts on the Handloom and Handicrafts sectors, which is expected to raise and address the issues concerning handloom weavers and handicraft craftsmen and artisans in the country.

The Planning Commission as a follow-up to the mid-term appraisal exercise of the 11th Five Year Plan has constituted a consultative group of experts for handloom and handicrafts sectors.

The objective behind the meeting is to invite the opinions of experts on the performance of plans and programmes implemented by the ministry of textiles in handlooms and handicraft sectors.

According to experts connected with the sectors, a few of the benefits have trickled down to the weavers, but more could have been achieved, but for the corruption within the system. They said there were loopholes within the scheme which was exploited by various stake holders and also that there was a necessity to ensure that the weavers and craftsmen were aware about various government schemes.

The handloom sector in the country has about 3.5 million handlooms and provides employment to 6.5 million people out of which around 62.40 percent are women. The sector is plagued with various problems like, obsolete technology, inadequate working capital, weak marketing links, conventional products and competition from power looms and mill sectors.

The worst impact has been felt by the silk handloom industry of Varanasi. In 1995-96, there were about 124,000 weavers and 75,000 handlooms in the district of which only about 60,000 handlooms are currently in operation, with most of the weavers switching over to other remunerative professions.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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