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KTR issues ultimatum asking weavers to upgrade

Rajanna-Sircilla: Information Technology and Textiles Minister KT Rama Rao on Friday said that only the weavers who upgrade their looms would get government orders whereas those who don’t would not be provided the facility.

Inaugurating the mega mela for in-situ upgradation of plain powerlooms at agriculture market committee in Sircilla town on Friday, he said that the government orders such as Rajiv Vidhya Mission and Bathukamma sarees would be given to weavers who have upgraded their looms, and asked SSI units and Max societies to upgrade their looms.

Warning the officials that there was no question of tolerating irregularities in the process of upgradation, he instructed the Assistant Director of handlooms and textiles to conduct training programmes to educate weavers about the new technology.

With a view to enhancing the income of the weavers, increasing the quality of cloth and reducing the burden on the workers, the State government has decided to upgrade plain powerlooms. Per day, weavers can produce around 5 to 6 metre cloth additionally if their looms were upgraded.

Of 30,000 looms in Sircilla, 50 per cent looms (15,000) would be upgraded this year.

According to the norms, the Union government would provide 50 per cent assistance for upgrading looms under the in-situ upgradation of plain powerlooms and the remaining amount has to be contributed by the beneficiary. “In order to reduce the burden on the community, the State government has decided to bear the beneficiary’s contribution”, he informed. Under the scheme, each weaver or owner could upgrade upto eight looms. Asking the community people to utilise the opportunity, he opined that it would take time to adopt the new technology.

In order to educate the weaver about the new technology, a total of 13 companies from different parts of the country such as Loomtech Coimbator, Digitranier, Prime, Rathe, New Maruthi, Kavin Tech, Sun Tech, Poongaselvi and others are participating in the mega mela.

Talking about the various schemes introduced by the State government for the welfare of the weaving community, the Minister said that to turn weavers into owners, they have started the work by spending Rs 203.30 crore. Since there was a textile park and a dying industry, two common facility centres-one near the textile park and another in Sircilla town, have been established.  

For the purpose of providing social security to the weavers, the government has also started a new scheme, ‘Neethannaku Cheyutha’ (Thrift). Under the scheme, the beneficiary has to pay Rs 8. The government would contribute a similar amount, he said, and urged all weavers to take membership under the scheme. Earlier, each weaver had to pay Rs 80 under the group insurance scheme. However, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao took a decision to pay the total amount on behalf of the weavers. In order to know the accurate number of looms in the State, the government had geo-tagged all existing looms, including 17,000 handlooms and 50,000 powerlooms.

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