The Textile Ministry on Thursday said it had decided to retain the existing definition of 'handloom' after a panel constituted for the purpose recommended no change in the definition.

``It is clarified that no change is contemplated by the Ministry of Textiles in the definition of handloom, which has been defined as 'any loom other than power loom' under the Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985,’’ an official statement issued by the Ministry said here.

The statement said various aspects pertaining to amendment of the definition and other incidental issues have recently been studied in greater detail by a sub-committee of the Advisory Committee. The sub-committee submitted its report on October 29, 2013 to the Government.

The sub-committee has recommended that in the process of weaving, the weaver does not use power and hence the definition of handloom need not be changed and it should remain in the purest form. ``The Ministry has accepted the report of the sub-committee and no amendment in the Handloom Reservation Act to change the definition of handloom is contemplated,’’ the statement added.

To improve the productivity and reduce the manual labour on loom, the Advisory Committee on Handloom Reservation Act, in its meeting held on August 10, 2012 had recommended the modifications in the definition of handloom. It had said “handloom” means any loom, other than power loom and includes any hybrid loom on which at least one process for weaving requires manual intervention or human energy for production.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour also supported the amendment in definition of handloom in various meetings. As per handloom census 2009-10, the handloom sector employs 43.3 lakh weavers and allied workers, although the number was 65 lakh in 1995-96.

More In: Industry | Business