CCEA okays revival package for handlooms, handicrafts

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for implementation of a revival package for the Moradabad and Narasapur handicrafts, Varanasi and Sibsagar handloom and the Bhiwandi and Erode powerloom as a Central sector Plan scheme.

Announcing this, Minister in the Prime Minister's office Prithviraj Chavan told reporters after the CCEA meeting here that under the Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme at Moradabad (UP) and Narasapur (AP), a sum of Rs 140 crore -- that is Rs 70 crore for each cluster -- would be spent during the 11th Plan in order to enhance effectiveness in terms of access to technology.

Besides, it would provide for increased market share, ensuring effective integration of scattered artisans and linking them to SMEs and other components.

"Implementation of the scheme would benefit the handicrafts artisans by getting access to world class common infrastructure, developing and diversifying new designs and products," which would improve their earnings and socio-economic conditions, he said.

Similarly, a provision of Rs 140 crore -- Rs 70 crore for each cluster -- has been sanctioned for Varanasi (UP) and Sibsagar (Assam) under the Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme, to be implemented during the current Plan.

The scheme is intended "to meet the discerning and changing market demands both at the domestic and at the international level and raise living standards of the weaver," Mr Chavan said.

The Rs 140-crore Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme, the third scheme announced by the Centre, will assist entrepreneurs to set up a world class unit with modern infrastructure,latest technology and adequate training and human resource development inputs along with appropriate market linkages, he said.

Implementation of the scheme, which would benefit weavers in developing and diversifying new designs and products among others, will be implemented through the PPP model between the Central and state governments, beneficiary weavers and their groups financially creditworthy and commercially linked marketing enterprises and the financial institutions for a four-year period beginning from 2008-09 to 2011-12, the minister added.

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