Govt to invest Rs 182-cr in textile sector

The State Government has decided to invest Rs 182.73 crore in the handloom and textiles sector during the next five years to create more employment potential.The funds will be utilised for the welfare of the weavers, imparting training to increase their efficiency and extension of the market for their produce.These decisions were taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the secretariat here today. It was decided that the activities of the micro finance institutions should be expanded so that the weavers can get loan without any hassles.More SHGs will be formed for their benefit and handloom clusters will be affiliated with the producer companies.This will help the weavers increase their income. There are 26 cluster areas for the weavers in the state. But there are many villages where there are very less number of looms. Even in some villages there is only one loom. Naveen directed the officials to identify such looms and extend government schemes to them. Besides, a decision was taken to set up a pension fund for weavers above 60 years of age.Extension of duration of repayment of cooperative loans taken by the weavers was also discussed.Raw material banks will be opened for the benefit of the weavers.Besides, 353 common facility centres will be constructed by spending Rs 11.8 crore.Eight training and production centres will also be opened. More self-employment opportunities will be created through cultivation of mulberry.Naveen directed that a five year policy of handloom and textiles should be prepared to attract private investment to the sector.Among others, development commissioner SP Nanda, principal secretary to the Chief Minister Bijay Kumar Patnaik and senior officials attended the meeting.

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