Schemes for Welfare of Weavers

Ministry of Textiles is implementing various schemes for welfare of weavers and development of handloom sector across the country. The schemes are Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS), National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP), Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS) and Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) for eight mega handloom clusters in the country.

Under these schemes, financial assistance is provided for raw materials, purchase of looms and accessories, design innovation, product diversification, infrastructure development, skill upgradation, marketing of handloom products and loan at concessional rates. Besides, the Government of India has reserved 11 textiles articles, including sarees with technical specifications for exclusive production by handlooms under The Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for production) Act, 1985. Balaramapuram sarees from Kerala has also been registered under Geographical Indications Act. Five block level clusters, including Kollayil Cluster, Thiruvananthapuram district, have been sanctioned with a total project cost of Rs. 8.86 crore with Government of India share of Rs. 8.63 crore and released Rs. 2.77 crore as first instalment.

In order to address the health related issues of handloom weavers of the country, including weavers of Balaramapuram, Ministry of Textiles has been implementing Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme. Life insurance cover to handloom weavers and workers in the age group of 18-50 year is provided under Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and accidental insurance cover to handloom weavers and workers in the age group of 18-50 years is provided under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana. Closed group of handloom weavers in the age group of 51-59 years, which are already enrolled as on 31.05.2017 under the Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY) will continue to get cover under the converged MGBBY. The benefits of schemes are available to all the handloom weavers, including widowed weavers. Also, scholarship of Rs. 1200 per year per child upto 2 children is also provided to the handloom weavers.

Credit requirements of handloom weavers are met under Weavers’ MUDRA scheme, a component of NHDP. Under the scheme, credit is provided at concessional interest rate of 6% to the handloom weavers with margin money assistance upto Rs. 10,000 per weaver and credit guarantee for a period of 3 years. In Kerala, 324 weavers have been sanctioned Mudra loan worth Rs. 1.61 crore in last three years.

In order to attract younger generation into the handloom profession, provision has been made under NHDP for skill upgradation. An MoU has been signed with NIFT, New Delhi to promote handlooms through fashion by introducing handlooms in the course curriculum of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate courses from academic session 2016-17.

During 7-17th October 2017 and 19-24th February 2018, total 305 Hastkala Sahyog Shivirs, including 9 Shivirs in Kerala were organised in various handloom clusters to facilitate the handloom weavers for obtaining MUDRA loan, yarn passbooks, looms & accessories, enrol for NIOS and IGNOU courses.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Textiles, Ajay Tamta, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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