'Rs 900 cr worth handlooms exported last year'

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Coimbatore, Aug 20: Handloom Minister KKSSR Ramachandran said the state has exported Rs 900 crore worth of handloom textiles last year and it would be more by ten per cent this year.

Talking to newspersons after a review meeting with nine district officials here on Wednesday, Aug 20 he said Tamil Nadu stood first in the country in respect of handloom exports.

Stating that the total production of handloom textiles was to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore per annum, the minister said of the Rs 900 crore export, the contribution of cooperative societies was around Rs 300 crore.

The state government was planning to spend Rs 260 crore for distribution of free saris and dhotis during Pongal festival. Strict instructions have been given to the producers to maintain quality and the total distribution of free saris and dhoties would be 1.59 crore and 1.58 crore respectively.

Of the 18 cooperative spinning mills in the state, 13 were closed and remaining five were working, he said adding that an expert committee has been formed for development of the working mills further and opening of some of the closed mills.

To a question about the powerloom strike, he said after three rounds of meeting with powerloom workers and owners by Minister Pongalur Palanisamy, no solution has emerged so far. However, he was confident that he would negotiate with the owners soon to bring the ongoing strike to an end.

Meanwhile, the district powerloom workers union submitted a memorandum to the Handloom minister, demading wages on par with price hike. They urged for constitution of a joint committee with participation of state and the centre to safeguard the powerloom sector.

UNI

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