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Central support for 4 handloom clusters in UP

Feb '07
Under Central Government's scheme in Uttar Pradesh, the State Government has initiated proceedings to set up four fully integrated handloom clusters.

This follows an announcement made by Union Textiles Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, during his visit to state capital, of the Centre's plan to support development of a large number of textile clusters and yarn depots in the State.

The clusters would offer total infrastructure from processing and dyeing facilities to provision of looms for artisans, that are scheduled to come up in Varanasi, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh and Bijnore regions, said C P Tiwari, Director, Textiles and Handlooms, Govt of UP.

He said products manufactured at the four clusters would be marketed by UP Handloom Development Corporation and other State and Central-level agencies in the global market.

State Government has started appointing NGOs to regulate development of the clusters which would start functioning in two years time, having fully integrated complexes with recreation centre for artisans, he added.

About 10 more handloom clusters were in pipeline besides the four being developed in the State, he said.

Textiles and Handlooms Department will also be providing 400 to 500 designs for handloom products to artisans at Barabanki to improve marketability of their products, he said.

Tarun Khetrapal, President of Indian Industries Association (IIA), said handloom clusters are unlikely to succeed as artisans working in small facilities will not be able to make major impact with their products in global market.

Handloom clusters would succeed if Union Government extends technology upgradation initiatives by extending subsidy beyond its deadline of March 2007, he said.

Gujarat and Maharashtra handloom clusters have been successful, but not in UP as government could not avail subsidy benefits provided by Centre during earlier years, Khetrapal added.

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