Guwahati, October 3: The Assam government employees will be wearing khadi clothes as the government will gift khadi clothes, worth Rs 12 crore, state finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The Khadi board has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing the clothes, Sarma told reporters on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting at the Khadi Board on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
"Every government employee will be gifted a set of Khadi clothes - shirts for men and either salwar-kurta or saree for women," Sarma said.
The minister, however, clarified that wearing khadi clothes to office is not obligatory.
"We will gift shirts but wearing it is not mandatory. The material is so good that people will wear it voluntarily." He also hoped that the employees wore them to work on special occasions. "We (government) hope the employees wear them during Gandhi Jayanti and other such auspicious occasions," he said.
Sarma, who also holds the health and education portfolio in the state, explained the budgetary provisions for the scheme.
"Each set will cost Rs 300 and for four lakh employees, the government will incur an expense of Rs 12 crore. We are hoping that Khadi Board will provide the shirts by Bohag Bihu (year end). We will hand out coupons to each employee who can then buy the clothes from Khadi Bhandar," he said.
The minister also expressed hope that his initiative will help in reviving the Khadi industry.
He further said, "If this initiative is successful, then we will also make khadi school uniforms. As of today, the Khadi Board does not have the capacity to produce clothes in bulk. The organisation is almost dying and our initiative is an attempt to revive it."