Around 98 per cent of funds granted to the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) were used since the last three years, INR 353.05 crore was allocated as revised estimate under grant-in-aid by the Central Govt., against which a disbursement of Rs 347.65 crore was acquired.

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, responded to a question saying this in the Rajya on Thursday. Though, there was no clarification on the closure of the handloom board previous year.

Eligible handloom organizations/ weavers were provided financial assistance for purchasing upgraded looms and equipment, product diversification and innovating designs, developing infrastructure, marketing of handloom products in domestic as well as international markets under different components of NHDP.

Also, Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans are given at concessional rates. NHDP guidelines are applicable across the country. The loans from MUDRA are sanctioned by banks based on their internal credit appraisal parameters. 

There was also a drop in the number of feasible proposals from the state governments. The COVID-19 pandemic situation led to disruptions in the economic activities, which then led to shift in demand and supply of raw-materials and finished goods.

The handloom industry by nature is unorganized, rural-centric and traditional. The Union Ministry of Textiles has launched fresh measures to expand and strengthen the sector in order to overcome the issues. These include allowing weavers to sell their products directly to government agencies and organizations through the government e-marketplace (GeM). So far, more than 150,000 people have signed up for the GeM portal. 

In order to improve productivity, marketing skills, and income, 125 handloom producer businesses have been established in several states. Margin money support of 20% of the loan amount, subject to a maximum of Rs 10,000 per weaver, interest subvention of up to 7%, and credit guarantee on loans for a term of three years are provided under the Concessional Credit / Weaver MUDRA initiative. 

In Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, and Guwahati, design resource centers have been established in weavers’ service centers to build and create design-oriented excellence, allowing weavers, exporters, manufacturers, and designers access to design repositories for sample / product improvisation and development.

The Handloom Export Promotion Council organizes virtual International Fairs to enhance the marketing of handloom items. Twelve similar handloom fairs will be held in 2020-21. 

Raw materials, infrastructure initiatives such as dyeing/printing, reeling/spinning, marketing units, design studies, and value addition are also completely funded.

The schemes adopted by the Government of India for the growth of handlooms and the welfare of handloom weavers are carried out through state governments and handloom agencies in the states, according to the current policy framework.

The schemes are periodically monitored at the central and state levels to ensure proper implementation, according to the minister.

Darshan Jardosh stated in the Rajya Sabha on August 5 in response to another question from M Shanmugam, minister of state in the ministry of textiles, that the Government of India is implementing various programs to make the Indian textile industry globally competitive, boost exports, and facilitate modernization.

The Union government plans to execute the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme, with a budget of Rs 17,822 crore, to upgrade the textile industry’s technology and provide suitable machines with a one-time capital subsidy.

By 2022, the initiative is expected to attract Rs 95,000 crore in new investment and provide jobs for 3.5 million people.

In June 2016, the government announced a Rs 6,000 crore special package for the textile and apparel industry to boost employment and export potential in the clothing and made-ups section.

The Remission of State Levies (RoSL) plan was also included in the package until March 6, 2019. From March 7, 2019 through March 31, 2020, the RoSL scheme was superseded by the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies. It was renewed on July 14, 2021, and will now run until March 31, 2024.

POWERTEX, a comprehensive program for the growth of the Powerloom sector, was inaugurated on April 1, 2017 and will run until March 31, 2020. It includes components such as in-situ upgrades of plain power looms, group work shed schemes, yarn bank schemes, shared facility centers, and more.

The National Technical Textiles Mission was formed by the Union government to conduct research and promote the emerging area of the technical textiles industry.

The Integrated Textile Parks Scheme and the Integrated Textile Processing Development Scheme are being adopted to strengthen the textile industry’s infrastructure, with the goal of increasing productivity and job possibilities.

As of October 31, 2021, the country had 1,360 functioning cotton/man-made fibre textile mills, according to the ministry.

Piyush Goyal responded to another question from Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya by saying that the Union government had decided to introduce a four-year degree course in Handloom and Textile Technology in all Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology (IIHT) under the Centre.

The Union Ministry of Textiles operates six IIHTs in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Salem (Tamil Nadu), Guwahati (Assam), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Bargarh (Odisha), and Fulia-Shantipur (West Bengal).

Kannur (Kerala), Venkatagiri (Andhra Pradesh), Champa (Chattisgarh), and Gadag-Betgeri (Karnataka), are among the four IIHTs that are operated by the respective state governments.

The information on handloom courses run by the private sector under various nomenclatures is not centralized. Each year, the six central government-run IIHTs grant diplomas, post diplomas, and degrees to 340 students.