By admin       2018-07-19

Noting that the unavailability of cotton and its soaring prices have been affecting handloom weavers and the textile industry, handloom and textiles minister O S Manian said that the state government is taking strides to improve the production of cotton in the state.He was addressing weavers from all the nine southern districts at an interactive session on the new handloom support scheme.The minister said that 61% of the spinning mills in the country are in Tamil Nadu. "But the state produces only 5% of the required cotton. The remaining 95% is brought from the northern states. Change in climatic conditions and other factors have resulted in the drop in cotton production, due to which cost of a bale has escalated from Rs 24,000 to Rs 51,000," he said.Taking note of the issue, the chief minister recently held a meeting with the officials from various departments and stressed the need to improve cotton production. "The sericulture department is also working on increasing silk production to reach a state of self-sufficiency to bring down the price," Manian said.On the effluent issue that is affecting waterbodies and the common man and the weavers and textile industry in return, the minister said they are facing difficulty in establishing Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP). "Pollution due to dyeing has been in existence for more than 3,000 years since handloom came to existence," he said on a lighter note.Manian said that the government offers 49% subsidy to establish CETPs but there is stiff opposition from public when they come to know that a CETP is coming in their locality. "We have established a CETP at a cost of Rs 700 crore in Tirupur with a subsidy of Rs 175 crore and an interest-free loan of Rs 200 crore. We are ready to establish any number of such CETPs," he added.Recalling that the wages of weavers have not been revised since 2013, the minister said that drastic revision would result in the cost of the products going up thereby affecting the sales. "This in turn would affect weavers. Considering all these factors the Chief Minister will be announcing a wage revision in the next few days," he added.Principal Secretary for the department of handlooms, handicrafts, textiles and khadi, K Phanindra Reddy, made an appeal to weavers to attract the younger generation with products that would attract them. Speaking on the occasion, director of handloom and textiles C Munianathan said the department is working on a six pronged approach – improving design and technological upgradation, product diversification, brand promotion and positioning, reaching unreached markets, support for working capital and research and development – to help weavers get the right price for their produce.

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