Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani informed Northeast India comprises the highest number of handloom weavers out of which nearly 88 per cent are women.
In a written reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha, Irani highlighted the various initiatives that the Centre has taken to enhance the weaving sector across the country especially in India's northeast.
Irani mentioned about the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) that is an umbrella scheme implemented in project mode to promote textiles industry in the NER States by providing infrastructure, capacity building and marketing support to the industry.
Under the scheme, during 2017-18 to 2019-20, Rs.2178 lakh has been released for the already sanctioned 180 Cluster Development Projects, Rs.120 lakh has been released for already sanctioned 01 Technology Upgradation Project, and Rs.1546.61 lakh has been released and 74 Handloom marketing events/expos have been sanctioned.
1590 registrations (inclusive of 14 registrations from NER States) have been issued under 184 product categories of the brand 'India Handloom' and total sale of Rs. 1069.93 Crore (upto December 2020) has been generated across the country including NER States, Irani stated.
In order to promote e-marketing of handloom products, a policy framework was designed and under which any willing e-commerce platform with good track record can participate in online marketing of handloom products. A total sale of Rs.123.97 Crore (upto September 2020) has been reported through the online portal across the country including NER States, Irani said, adding, three urban haats have also been sanctioned in the NER states.
The funds allocated by the Ministry of Textiles through the Central Silk Board for these schemes in the last five years and the current year 2020-21 include scheme financial assistance for the Northeastern states – Rs 1.773 crore under the Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry (2015-16 and 2016-17), Silk Samagra (2017-21) Rs 17.243 crore and Rs 745.69 crore under the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (2014-15 to 2020-21).