Minister for Textiles and Handlooms P. Sankara Rao has said that there are about 100 `bogus' weaver societies in the State and asked them to voluntarily shut shop within a month or face action.

Dr. Rao also warned against any laxity on the part of employees of the various departments of the ministry and threatened to recommend “close down'' under-performing departments.

During the course of a media conference, the Minister said that all the departments should reach the targets including disbursing loans to hand loom weavers (individuals and groups) and other benefits due to the weaver societies.

The State Government had come to the rescue of handloom weavers, who have borne the brunt of natural calamities, by waiving off Rs.312 crore of loans. An amount of Rs.87.73 crore has been released under the first installment and the remaining Rs.224.27 crore would be released before March 31, 2011. Loans worth Rs.6 crore would be waived off in Guntur District alone.

Further, the Government also waived loans to the tune of Rs.16.67 crore towards individual loans of hand loom weavers under Artisan Credit Card (A.C.C), Rajiv Yuva Sakthi (RYS) and Prime Minister Rozagar Yojana (PMRY) for the year 2010-2011, Dr. Rao blamed the opposition parties for resorting to demonstrations and protests.

The Government also sanctioned Rs60.64 crore towards waiver of cash credit loans of the Primary Weavers Co-operative Societies held with District Central Cooperatives Banks (DCCBs), he pointed out.

Subsidy

The Government had also agreed to provide subsidy to silk weavers in view of hike in silk yarn prices. It has doubled the subsidy to procure yarn from the present 10 per cent.

He also said that he had represented to the Centre the need to have a fair representation on the Handloom Board. Of the 42 members, 28 members were from Tamil Nadu.

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