Karnataka Textiles Minister, G.D.Sekhar, on Thursday called on the Union Textiles Minister, Dayanidhi Maran and sought an assistance of Rs. 364 crore from the Central Government for the improvement of the textile sector in the State.
The package of demands included a grant of Rs. 50 crore for the creation of a silk city near Bangalore, a grant of Rs. 50 crore for restructuring the Karnataka State Handloom Cooperative Societies and an assistance of Rs. 15 crore to provide relief and rehabilitation to weavers affected by the recent floods in north Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters after presenting the memorandum of demands, Mr. Sekhar said that, among other things, there was a need for setting up a multi-storeyed permanent market place for handloom products in Bangalore and to include handloom weaving as a skilled labour under the National Rrural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
There was, he said, also a need to continue the 10 per cent rebate scheme on sale of handloom products, provision of a pension scheme for the weavers and reintroduction of the thrift fund scheme for them.
He also urged the Union Minister to give early sanction for the Rs. 20 crore financial package for revival of handloom cooperative societies and approval for the proposed integrated textile park at Gulbarga.
Further, he sought an assistance of Rs. 24 crore every year for providing power at subsidised rate to the powerlooms and urged that the IHDS group approach and cluster approach schemes be extended to the powerloom sector too.
Mr. Maran assured that his Ministry would consider the demands favourably. He urged Mr. Sekhar to come out with a more detailed report with regards to the proposal for setting up a silk city near Bangalore.
Speaking to The Hindu, he said, ``we will give all support for the improvement of the textile sector in Karnataka. The proposal for setting up a silk city in particular is very interesting. After all, when we think of Karnataka, we first think of silk only. I will soon write to the Chief Minister also on how we could work together to take forward the textile sector as a whole and the silk industry in particular in the State’’.