Source:Textile Review

The Indian handloom industry is one of the most ancient cottage industries and plays an important role in the country’s economy. The handloom industry is the second largest sector after agriculture, providing livelillood to more than 65 lakh people. This sector accounts for 19% of the total cloth produced in the country, and the uniqueness of this sector includes flexibility, innovation and creativity.

In the new scenario of a quota-free world, the readymade garments sector is playing a crucial role in the economy, in terms of contributing to exports as well as employment generation, considering its inherent labour-intensive nature. In the cloth production segment, apart from mill sector hand looms are likely to be the gainers. The policies pursued over a period of time also resulted in the dominance of the decentralised powerloom and handloom sectors in the textile industry, which are mainly micro and small scale enterprises. Statistics released by the Ministry of Textiles shows a highly fragmented industry, except in the spinning sub-segment. The organised sector contributes over 95% of spinning, but hardly 5% of weaving fabric. Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSEs) perform the bulk of the weaving and processing operations.

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About the Author:

The author is Director General, National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hyderabad.

Originally published in: New Cloth Market, July-2010

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