“The Nagpur District Administration has shown its readiness for creating a separate Cluster. The only problem is acquisition of a land. The Textiles Ministry has enough funds. The quicker the State Government completes its formalities the quicker the Government will provide the funds. The promises I have made would be accomplished within 3-4 months”, the Union Textiles Minister Dr K S Rao asserted.
Nagpur News: A delegation of the Nagpur Bunkers (handloom, powerloom weavers) met the Union Textiles Minister Dr K S Rao in Nagpur and informed him that around 3,00,000 handloom and powerloom weavers are based in Nagpur out of which 10,000 weavers have powerloom machineries. A total of Rs 26 crore were granted for Vidarbha weavers through the concerned Maharashtra Government Department and 50 per cent of the amount had been utilized. Several proposals in connection Nagpur weavers have been pending with the Textiles Ministry out of which only 60 proposals have been cleared, the delegation said.
Another delegation of Bunkars (Weavers) informed that the weavers in Vidarbha are backward on all accounts. A survey must be carried out of forward and backward weavers so that only the backward weavers of their respective areas should be given priorities and could be benefited of various Government schemes and prosper like the mainstream. On the contrary, big industrial weavers are being benefited of the Government schemes. Moreover, announcements are made in Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) of providing electricity at concessional rates, but, in reality, the scenario is totally different.
Meanwhile, Bandopant Tembhurne, member of the Central Textiles Board, informed that earlier, weavers used to be from Dalit, Muslim, and Halba communities. Now, Dalit community has distanced itself from the weaving industry. The remaining weavers from Muslim and Halba communities have been facing great difficulties and efforts must be made to improve their lot. At present the weavers have lost the trust of the Government. Therefore, the need of the hour is upgradation of their living standards, Tembhurne said.
Another leader of weavers said, “Maharashtra Government promises in Assembly that the weavers would be supplied power at Rs 1.80 per unit, then again promises power at Rs 2.57 per unit excluding various taxes. It means the power supply by net Rs 7 per unit. This is a total injustice. The Central Government’s Health Insurance Scheme and Scholarship Scheme to our children have been gathering dust since past two years.The schemes should be restarted immediately” the leader said.
Vishal Muttemwar, State Youth Congress Leader, suggested that new welfare measures should be initiated on the basis of number of weavers working in the sheds. Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar urged the Minister to increase the subsidy instead of hiking the power supply tariff.
The Union Textiles Minister Dr K S Rao was in Nagpur to participate in the “Interaction of the Stakeholders for Development of Textile Cluster in Nagpur.” The Minister, asfter listening to the various problems of weavers, said, “The demand of weavers are totally valid. The backward weavers should only be provided benefits of Government schemes. The decision on upgradation of living standards of the weavers is a positive one. The Government is making efforts to see that the products of weavers get the good price. For upgradation of powerlooms, the Government will spend 50 per cent of the cost and the remaining would have to be arranged by the powerloom weavers. The weavers, who renew their registration, would be given funds within three months. The Government will make efforts to make available land at free of cost for setting up of powerlooms, and, also arrange loans for construction at the rate Rs 160 sqft. I promise Common Facility Centre for weavers but it will take some time. The Chief Secretary of the Textiles Ministry has been directed to issue credit cards to beneficiaries without any delay. The Nagpur District Administration has shown its readiness for creating a separate Cluster. The only problem is acquisition of a land. The Textiles Ministry has enough funds. The quicker the State Government completes its formalities the quicker the Government will provide the funds. The promises I have made would be accomplished within 3-4 months. The only problem is the fake beneficiaries. The documents should comply the Government rules and regulations,” the minister elaborated.
An official of the Textiles Ministsry said the weavers would now be insured under the National Insurance Safety Scheme and the amount has been increased to Rs 37,5,00.