Traditional handloom varieties to receive registration protection

IMPRESSIVE: Finance Minister K.Anbazhagan (centre) at the National Handloom Exhibition 2007 in Chennai on Thursday. Handlooms Minister N.K.K.P. Raja (left), is in the picture. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan  

Special Correspondent

They will be covered under Geographical Indication Act

CHENNAI: Traditional handloom varieties of Tamil Nadu will be registered under the Geographical Indication Act to prevent bogus goods from entering the textile market, Handlooms and Textiles Minister N.K.K.P. Raja said here on Thursday.

Presiding over the inauguration of the National Handloom Exhibition - 2007, he said Kancheepuram silk saris, Bhavani blankets and Madurai Sungadi saris had been registered under the Act. Soon, Salem Silk, Arni Silk and Kovai Kora would come under its protection. These varieties would have a hologram indicating their genuineness

The Minister said bringing these traditional varieties under the Act would also help increase their sales. He pointed out that the sale of Mysore Silk had increased substantially after it was registered under the Act.

Sops for societies

Thanks to various Government measures, about 850 handloom cooperative societies were now making profit. For the weavers' benefit, the Government had increased their subsidy by cent per cent from Rs.108 crore to Rs.216 crore. Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, inaugurating the exhibition, said handloom being the symbol of the State's culture, needed support. Unfortunately, handloom weavers were not getting sufficient income. The traditional varieties could be preserved only by increasing export.

He handed over the registration certificate under the Act for Kancheepuram silk saris. Handlooms Secretary Vishwanath Shegaonkar said the expo offered a variety of handloom products manufactured by various States under one roof. sCooptex special officer and managing director M.P. Nirmala said nine States were participating in the exhibition.