The Government is implementing following schemes to support handloom weavers across the country and to protect them from private players in India, abroad and duplicate products from outside the State:

  1. National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)
  2. Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS)
  3. Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS)
  4. Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS)

 

To protect handloom weavers from private players in India, Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production), Act, 1985 was enacted which has reserved 11 articles for exclusive production by handlooms.  For enforcement of the Act, enforcement machineries exist at Centre and at States/UTs level, which carry out regular inspections and take action under the provisions of the Act.

Under these schemes, financial assistance is provided for raw materials, purchase of looms and accessories, design innovation, product diversification, infrastructure development, skill upgradation, lighting units, marketing of handloom products and loan at concessional rates.

  1. National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)

 

  1. Block Level ClusterIntroduced in 2015-16 as one of the components of National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP).  Financial assistance upto Rs. 2.00 crore per BLC for various interventions such as skill upgradation, Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata, product development, construction of workshed, project management cost, design development, setting up of common facility centre (CFC) etc. is provided. Besides, financial assistance upto Rs. 50.00 lakh is also available for setting up of one dye house at district level. The proposals are recommended by the State Government.

 

  1. Handloom Marketing Assistance is one of the components of National Handloom Development Programme.  In order to provide marketing platform to the handloom agencies/weavers to sell their products directly to the consumers, financial assistance is provided to the States/eligible handloom agencies for organising marketing events in domestic as well as overseas markets.

 

  1. Weavers’ MUDRA SchemeUnder the Weavers’ Mudra Scheme, credit at concessional interest rate of 6% is provided to the handloom weavers.  Margin money assistance to a maximum of Rs. 10,000 per weaver and credit guarantee for a period of 3 years is also provided. MUDRA portal has been developed in association with Punjab National Bank to cut down delay in disbursement of funds for margin money and interest subvention.

 

  1. HATHKARGHA SAMVARDHAN SAHAYATA (HSS):

Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata (HSS) was introduced on 1st December 2016 with an objective to provide looms/accessories to the weavers to enhance their earnings through improved productivity and quality of the handloom products. Under the scheme, 90% of the cost of loom/accessory is borne by the Government of India while remaining 10% is borne by the beneficiary. The Government of India’s share is released directly in the Bank account of the beneficiary through designated agency.

 

  1. EDUCATION OF HANDLOOM WEAVERS AND THEIR CHILDREN:

Ministry of Textiles has signed Memorandums of Understanding with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to secure educational facilities for the weavers and their families.  NIOS offers Secondary and Senior Secondary level education with specialized subjects on design, marketing, business development, etc. through distance learning mode for handloom weavers, whereas IGNOU offers continuing education programs through accessible and flexible learning opportunities relevant to the aspirations of handloom weavers and their children for career progression.

Ministry of Textiles is providing reimbursement of 75% of the fee towards admission to NIOS/IGNOU courses in case of SC, ST, BPL, and Women learners belonging to handloom weavers’ families.

  1. India Handloom” Brand– During the celebration of 7th August 2015 as National Handloom Day, ‘India Handloom’ Brand was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister for branding of high quality handloom products. It promotes production of niche handloom products with high quality, authentic traditional designs with zero defect and zero effect on environment. Since its launch, 1232 registrations have been issued under 122 product categories and sale of Rs. 722.57 crore has been generated.

 

Initiatives with various leading brands has been undertaken to bring out a separate range of handloom garments in their brand.

 

  1. E-COMMERCE– In order to promote e-marketing of handloom products, a policy frame work was designed and under which any willing e-commerce platform with good track record can participate in online marketing of handloom products. Accordingly, 23 e-commerce entities have been engaged for on-line marketing of handloom products. A total sales of Rs. 66.20 crore has been reported through the online portal.

 

  1. URBAN HAATS are set up in the big towns/metropolitan cities to provide adequate direct marketing facilities to the craft persons/weavers and eliminate middle agencies.  38 such Urban Haats have been sanctioned across the country so far.

 

  1. Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme:

The Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) is implemented for development of Mega Handloom Clusters covering atleast 15000 to 25,000 handlooms and financial assistance as GoI share from Rs. 40.00 to Rs.70.00 crore is in a period of 5 years.  8 mega handloom clusters taken up as announced in the Budgets i.e. Varanasi, Sivasagar (2008-09), Virudhunagar, Murshidabad (2009-10), Prakasam & Guntur districts and Godda& neighbouring districts (2012-13), Bhagalpur &Trichy (2014-15).

 

Under the scheme, components like conducting Diagnostic Study, engaging Designer, Product Development, Corpus for raw material, Construction of Worksheds (for BPL/SC/ST/Women weavers), Skill up-gradation etc. are fully funded by Government of India, while the components like Technology up-gradation, lighting units funded 90% andother common infrastructural projects like Design Studio,  Marketing Complex, Value Addition Centres, Publicity etc., are funded by the GOI to the extent of 80%.

 

  1. Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme

 

Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS) is providing life, accidental and disability insurance coverage under the components Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY).

D.        Yarn Supply Scheme:

Yarn Supply Scheme is being implemented throughout the country to make available all types of yarn at Mill Gate Price. The scheme is being implemented through National Handloom Development Corporation.  Under the Scheme freight is reimbursed and depot operating charges at 2% is given to depot operating agencies.  A component of 10% price subsidy also exists on hank yarn, which is applicable on cotton, domestic silk, wool and linen yarn with quantity caps.

The Government has received proposals from Kerala seeking funds under various schemes being implemented by the Office of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles. The viable proposals received under various schemes have been considered and the following activities have been undertaken in the State of Kerala in the last three years (2016-17 to 2018-19):

i)        Rs. 1.15 crore has been released for one Block level Cluster covering 710 beneficiaries.

ii)       Rs. 0.42 crore has been released for 5 marketing events covering 13000 beneficiaries.

iii)      Rs. 1.93 crore has been disbursed under Weavers’ MUDRA Scheme covering 419 beneficiaries.

iv)      11180 beneficiaries have been enrolled under converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana and 3359 beneficiaries have been enrolled under Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana/Pradhan Mantri Surakha Bima Yojana.

v)       1663 upgraded items (looms and accessories) have been distributed to 1663 beneficiaries under Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata Yojana.

vi)      790 beneficiaries have been imparted training for skill upgradation under National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP).

vii)     339.45 lakh kg of yarn worth Rs. 261.28 core has been supplied at mill gate price and 3.518 lakh kg of yarn worth Rs. 10.77 crore has been supplied to the weavers of Kerala under 10% subsidy scheme of Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS).

viii)    25 Yarn Depots are functioning in Kerala for supply of yarn at subsidized rates.

ix)      To protect imitation of products by others, following handloom products of Kerala have been registered under Geographical Indications Act:

  1. Kothampally dhoties and set
  2. Balaramapuram saree and fine cotton fabrics
  3. Kasargod saree
  4. Kothampally saree
  5. Chendamangalam dhoti
  6. Cannanore Home furnishing

This information was given by the Union Minister of Textiles, SmritiZubinIrani, in written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.