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Rs 820 cr to be invested in NE sericulture sector

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Jan 29 - Union Ministry of Textiles and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) today signed a MoU to ensure expansion of the cane and bamboo industry of the region here today.

The MoU was signed at the first �Investors� Summit� for the NE Region which was inaugurated by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.

The MoU envisages close coordination between the two Ministries so that the cane and bamboo sector gets the requisite assistance and create employment opportunities in the region. Additional MoUs were signed between different Central and State agencies and investors and promoters.

The two-day North East Investors Summit was organised jointly by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of DoNER in collaboration with industry associations FICCI and CII.

The Summit aims to showcase the NE as a global destination for investment, and to explore the possibility of bringing in convergence of efforts of various Union Ministries and Northeastern States to attract investment in the NE.

Irani also announced that from the next academic session master craftsmen from the handloom industry would be giving lessons at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). �Within next academic session, master craftspersons of the NE region in handloom sector will help us teach the students at NIFTs across the country for credit courses,� she said.

Touching on the rich tradition of the handloom and handicraft sector of the region, she said, the Centre has invested in infrastructural projects worth Rs 52,000 crore to help investment opportunities as part of the Act East Policy. She urged the investors to take advantage of these inherent qualities of the people and the Government�s investments.

The Union Minister also announced investment of Rs 820 crore in sericulture sector of the region. She said the investment from the Centre would enable employment of close to four lakh families. �Our estimate is that close to 3, 95,000 families, of which 70 per cent are women, will benefit from the opportunities through this fund infusion,� Irani said during the inauguration.

Giving out details of the funds sanctioned by the Ministry, she said projects worth Rs 1,040 crore has been alloted for the region for textile promotion schemes in handloom, handicrafts, sericulture, apparel and garmenting.

Informing about the other initiatives taken by the Government, she said, a mobile app �E-Dhaga� has been launched last year to assist weavers in getting subsidies from the Government to purchase yarn. �The mobile app was launched in December to ensure weavers get to see the quota of yarn allotted and understand their rights,� she said. The app, she added, is available in Hindi, besides Assamese and Bengalee.

Irani also informed that on January this year, a helpline number for handloom weavers was launched. In just a month, over 2,500 queries made by the weavers across the country were answwered, she said.

Meanwhile, Irani would be inaugurating tomorrow the Apparel and Garment Making Centre at Ampati, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma�s constituency in South West Garo Hills district.

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