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Government apathy leads handloom sector to distress

Jan '09
The handloom sector has since years been an important component of the textile sector. But from the time, mechanization within the textile industry picked up pace in India; the handloom sector is loosing its pristine sheen.

The reasons are not far to seek. The foremost being the apathy of the government towards this sector. In all the preceding years the central or state governments have paid lip service to this industry which generates employment to the lowest strata of society.

The handloom industry in India is manned by poor and rural weavers in particular. There are a number of cooperatives to help the sector, but over a period of time the number of these cooperatives is coming down with each passing year.

The year 2008 has been a momentous year in particular for the handloom sector. Prices of key inputs like raw cotton, silk and cotton yarn have gone up by 21, 37 and 22 percent compared to that in 2007, while the selling prices of finished products have risen by a meager 1 percent in 2008.

These cooperatives also do not have any proper marketing skills, due to which it is the middle men who profit at the cost of the poor weavers. Designs are also outdated and not in sync with current trends, which is also one of the most important reasons for the ills affecting the handloom industry.

There are various welfare schemes meant for the benefit of these handloom weavers, but they are either ignorant of those schemes or the benefits do not trickle down to them like low interest loans, equipment up-gradation, marketing and export promotion schemes etc.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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