New Delhi: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani today claimed that Central government’s MUDRA scheme has contributed significantly to the income of weavers, particularly in Odisha.
“Handloom weavers in Sambalpur were able to improve their earnings by more than 60% within three months of availing MUDRA loan,” Smriti Irani said at Bijoynagar in Assam today.
On the eve of third National Handloom Day to be held in Guwahati tomorrow, the Minister announced that weavers will henceforth be able to avail a wide array of government services from Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs). The Minister said that besides providing technical assistance, the WSCs will serve as a one-stop centre for weavers, providing various services, including banking, passport, insurance, PAN card, voter ID and AADHAAR.
Besides, the weavers will also be able to pay their electricity bills and undertake online courses at WSCs.
Notably, there are 28 WSCs under the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, functioning in various parts of the country.
Noting that loom repair and upgradation is one reason why many weavers apply for loans, the Textiles Minister informed the weavers that Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata Scheme addresses this issue. She said that under this scheme, Government of India assists the weaver by bearing 90% of the cost of new looms; on distributing the scheme certificates, the Minister appealed more weavers to join the scheme so that they do not have to bear the heavy financial burden of buying a new loom.
Speaking of other initiatives taken by the Ministry for the welfare of handloom weavers, Irani spoke about the E-Dhaga app and the ‘Bunkar Mitra’ helpline. She said that with E-Dhaga, subsidy is just a click away for the weavers.