Centre announces sops for powerloom weavers

SIRCILLA, APRIL 29. The Central Government has announced several sops for the rehabilitation of powerloom weavers of Sircilla town who are in dire straits following invasion of jet looms in neighbouring States.

In order to upgrade the skills of powerloom weavers and train them on modern looms, the Union Government has decided to set up powerloom service centre and a Textile park in the town.

Besides, the Centre has promised to set up a yarn depot in the town by the National Textile Corporation (NTC). A comprehensive scheme on the lines of Deen Dayal Hath Kargha yojana would be considered for the weavers.

The Union Minister of State for Textiles and Handlooms, Mr. Dhananjay Kumar, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, the Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr. B. Dattatreya, along with a team of officials, visited the town on Sunday to study the plight of powerloom weavers who have been resorting to suicide.

The team was accompanied by the State Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, Mr. Padala Bhumanna, the local MLA, Mr. R. Papa Rao, the Handlooms and Textiles Commissioner, Mrs. Srilakshmi, and the Industries Secretary, Mr. B. P. Acharya.

Participating as chief guest at a meeting of powerloom workers and owners in Sircilla town, Mr. Dhananjay Kumar called upon weavers to modernise their powerlooms to produce quality fabric and compete in the open market. The Central Government had introduced the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for the modernisation of looms by providing financial assistance, he said and urged officials to send proposals for necessary sanctions.

The Minister, who earlier visited the Sri Rajarajeshwara Spinning mill which was closed due to various reasons, urged the State Government to take steps for its revival.

Mr. Dhananjay Kumar said the Centre had released Rs. 14 crores for the weavers of Andhra Pradesh, but the Government could not utilise the amount. With regard to the State plea for the sanctioning of Rs. 50 crores for rehabilitation of weavers, he said the Centre would release Rs. 25 crores and urged the State to contribute the remaining Rs. 25 crores.

He found fault with the State Government for not paying its premium under the group insurance scheme of weavers.

He appreciated the efforts made by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, for adopting orphaned children and providing free food to over 600 weavers everyday through a memorial trust set up in the name of his mother.

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