Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran made an inspection of the Central Warehousing Corporation's godown in Chitlapakkam on November 12.
The sarees and dhotis meant for distribution to people under the free scheme for people in the southern suburbs of Chennai and also some areas of the rest of Kancheepuram district and also Tiruvallur district have been stocked here.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Ramachandran said the procurement of sarees and dhotis under the free distribution scheme to the people for Pongal next year was on track. A sum of Rs. 332 crore was allotted by the State government for procuring and distributing 159.04 lakh sarees and 158.19 lakh dhotis under the Free Distribution Scheme (FDS). The length of handloom and powerloom sarees that were 5 metres and 5.1 metres respectively, was uniformly increased to 5.5 metres.
The sarees and dhotis were being procured from both powerloom and handloom cooperative societies in Kancheepuram, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Salem, Tiruchengode, Erode and Coimbatore.
So far, 133 lakh sarees and 104 lakh dhotis had been procured and the target would be completed by this month-end. By December 15, all the sarees and dhotis would be sent to the respective district Collectors and distribution to the people would be launched by Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on January 1.
By procuring this huge quantity of sarees and dhotis, 13,000 handloom weavers and 41,000 powerloom weavers would be benefited. A powerloom weaver would be able to create six sarees or dhotis everyday and would be paid at the rate of Rs. 16 per dhoti and Rs. 28 per saree.
A handloom weaver would be paid Rs. 68 per saree and Rs. 58 per dhoti and they would be able to produce not more than one saree or dhoti a day.
Mr. Ramachandran said stocking and inspection of sarees and dhotis under FDS was being done at 11 other similar centres in the State. If sarees and dhotis were found to be short of the specified width and length, they would be rejected and returned to the respective societies.
Mr. Ramachandran also said that the Deepavali festival sales through Co-optex outlets in Tamil Nadu had surpassed the target of Rs. 85 crore this year. R.Rajagopal, Principal Secretary, Shanthini Kapoor, Managing Director, Co-optex and V.Chandrasekaran, Director, Handlooms and Textiles, were also present.