In a major policy decision that will go a long way in improving the lot of weavers in the State, the government has made it mandatory for all government departments, undertakings such as APSRTC and agencies to procure livery/cloth from APCO.

The decision was taken by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Friday in fulfilment of the promise made by him at the day-long meeting on weavers’ problems on October 20 last, to end their woes. Industries & Commence Department, which has jurisdiction over the handlooms sector, followed it up by issuing a comprehensive order.

Handlooms Minister G. Prasad Kumar announced at a media conference later that the decision would ensure a massive Rs. 1,000-crore worth business to APCO, liberating it from all its encumbrances and benefiting over 3.82 lakh weavers.

The decision amounts to cent per cent reserving of procurement for APCO. The main government departments, which will have to procure compulsorily from APCO are departments dealing with the welfare of SCs, STs, BCs, women & children, minorities and that of Education, Medial & Health, Police, Prisons & Correctional Services, Tourism, Youth Services, Culture, Excise and Endowments including TTD. Besides, the needs of all government residential educational institutions, Gurukulams and that of the schemes of Rajiv Vidhya Mission and Rajiv Madhyamika Shiksha Abhiyan will also have to be necessarily met from APCO.

The Minister and T. Chiranjeevulu, APCO MD, however, reassured that APCO would supply livery/cloth made with 60 per cent polyester etc. so that the dress would be qualitative, long-lasting and wrinkle- free without requiring ironing and frequent washing by students. The Minister said APCO cloth would also made be cheaper commensurate with the prices of mill cloth. Mr. Prasad Kumar said APCO had been asked to finalise district-wise schedules for delivery.

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