Home Business Andhra Pradesh: Protect handlooms from onslaught of powerlooms, weavers urge Centre

Andhra Pradesh: Protect handlooms from onslaught of powerlooms, weavers urge Centre

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Urgent intervention of the centre is required to empower handloom weavers and stregthen the sector,
The Indian Express

AMARAVATI: Handloom weavers have urged the Centre to amend the Handloom Reservation Act, 1985 to enforce rules and prevent powerloom owners from manufacturing clothes reserved for handloom sector.

Several handloom weavers’ associations and NGOs met Union Secretary of Textiles, UP Singh, in New Delhi and apprised him of the solution.

A delegation comprising Macherla Mohan Rao of National Federation of Handlooms and Handicrafts, Gunjan Jain of Vriksh, Delhi, Ankush Seth of MATEE, Delhi, held discussions with senior officials in the textile ministry and brought key issues being faced by weavers in the backdrop of Covid-19 to their notice.

The NGOs also urged the Centre to help entrepreneurs set up small-scale spinning mills to produce ready-to-weave yarn. “Urgent invention of the Centre is required to empower handloom weavers and strengthen the sector,” said Mohan Rao

They explained the powerloom industry is resorting to illegal practices in producing handloom reserved items and selling them as ‘handloom’ in domestic market at a domestic price.

Pointing out the Handloom Reservation Act needs to be amended, particularly in respect of Section 2 of (e), Mohan said “There is an urgent need to remove ambiguity in definition to make clear distinction hand printing and hand embroidery vis-a’-vis digital printing and machine embroidery”

He said the government should take immediate steps to invent a device to distinguish between powerloom and handloom fabric in collaboration with technological institutes like the IITs.

Gunjan Jain said the presence of fake products in the market is detrimental to the handloom industry. She also requested the Union textile secretary to recommend exemption of GST on yarns, dyes/chemicals and handloom products.

Mohan Rao said the Centre should initiate measures to involve students from NIFT, NID and other design institutes to undergo internship with handloom weavers and bring new designs in tune with changing trends of the domestic and export markets.

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