Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said her government would contribute to the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Handloom Weavers Savings and Security Scheme as the Centre had stopped its contribution towards the scheme.

She also announced the State government's decision to increase grants to mulberry farmers.

Making a suo motu statement, she said members admitted under this scheme were contributing eight paise per rupee of wages earned and the State government's contribution would be four paise per rupee of wages earned by each weaver.

She said the Central government contributed four paise as matching contribution under the Central Thrift Fund Scheme and the above amount was deposited in the government account and the interest was utilised for implementing the old age pension scheme, family pension scheme and health package scheme for handloom weavers. Ms. Jayalalithaa said since the Centre stopped its contribution towards the scheme in 2007 and there was a request from weavers to the State government to compensate the loss, her government had decided to make the contribution.

She said a total of 76,051 handloom weavers would benefit from the scheme and it would cost an additional amount of Rs. 5 crore per year.

Mulberry cultivation

She said Tamil Nadu was a leading State in the production of the bivoltine silk (white silk), mulberry cultivation and cocoon rearing and the government would increase the grant for mulberry farmers from Rs. 4,125 to Rs. 6,750 per acre to sustain production and to encourage farmers.

Under the revised grant, a farmer would get a maximum of Rs. 16,875 per hectare and farmers cultivating mulberry on 5,000 acres would get a total of Rs 3.37 crore as grant.

The Chief Minister also announced increase in the grant given to farmers involved in sericulture to modernise silk worm rearing and farm equipment to increase production.

The grant will be increased from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 37,500 and a total of 1200 farmers will get Rs. 4.5 crore. This will lead to a farmer earning Rs. 1 lakh per hectare, she added.

A total of 76,051 handloom weavers will benefit from the scheme

Grants to mulberry farmers will be increased

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