Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said here on Monday that the government would work for the revival of handloom, power loom and silk sectors to tap their growth potential and employment generation capability.
As a first step, the government would tackle the stalemate over energy dues and provide new power connections in Champanagar (Bhagalpur)—the hub of handloom weavers—to kick start production, he said.
Promising that the department would set up a camp, starting November 15, for this purpose, he said, “the government will also come out with a one-time-settlement (OTS) scheme to facilitate regularisation of outstanding power dues.”
Speaking at the Udyami Panchayat, specially convened for the stakeholders, the chief minister said, “We are determined to take all possible steps to revive the sector to support those engaged in traditional occupation and generate employment opportunities for a maximum number of people.”
Directing officials to ensure that curtains produced by the handloom sector were purchased for government offices, Kumar also said that payment schedule for supply of ‘satrangi’ bed sheets in hospitals would be fast-tracked to ease flow of funds.
He, however, advised the participants to select one agency to channelize their supplies to ensure that product quality was maintained. “Weavers should also strike a proper synergy with those engaged in the profession of dyeing so that they may be able to sustain themselves and come out with attractively coloured products to meet market requirements,” he said.
Kumar said that increase in number of cooperative societies and involvement of JeeVika, a livelihood project backed by the Bihar government, in handloom trade and silk production was the need of the hour.
“While 661 equipments have been distributed among women engaged in Tassar industry, the expansion of four regional unions will help in enhancing reach and drawing more weavers into the fold of cooperative societies,” he said, adding “the progress will be monitored at the level of chief secretary in two months.”
Industry minister Jai Kumar Singh and departmental principal secretary, along with the ministers concerned and chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, were present on the occasion.