More than two thirds (67.1%) of India’s 31,44,839 handloom workers earn less than Rs 5,000 per month, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. The number of handloom worker households in the country is 31,44,839, according to 4th All India Handloom Census conducted last financial year.
About 26.2% of handloom workers earned between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, Union textiles minister Smriti Zubin Irani informed the house in a written reply, citing the handloom census. Average annual earning of handloom households was Rs 3,042 per month, according to the previous handloom census.
The government has rolled out the following schemes to promote the handloom sector. Under these schemes, the workers get financial assistance for raw materials, purchase of looms and accessories, design innovation, product diversification, infrastructure development, skill upgradation, lighting units, marketing of handloom products and cheap loans.
- National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)
- Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS)
- Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS)
- Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS)
The government defended its decision to disband All India Handicrafts Board (AIHB) and All India Handloom Board (AIHB), saying it was done based on a review of the functioning of the boards. The review found that weavers did not benefit from the board that barely met, and failed to take weavers into confidence. The board did not have any contribution in policy formulation and its implementation, the government informed the Rajya Sabha in another written reply.