ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Status of the Handloom Sector

Some Insights

The Fourth All India Handloom Census 2019–20 reveals that the lack of market demand, dearth of capital/funds and the non-availability of credit are the major issues that handicap the working of the handloom sector. The sector is still characterised by some precapitalist and non-capitalist production relations and the low earnings and poor living conditions of the weavers ensure that they survive at subsistence levels.

Have we given proper importance to our traditional industries since independence? Their current predicament indicates that it is certainly not so. The Fourth All India Handloom Census 2019–20 (hencefourth census) published by the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, certainly vindicates this perception.

One reason for this is that the numerous recommendations made by different committees for the protection and development of handloom sector since independence have failed to make a positive impact. These included product reservation of certain items and exemption of excise duty for handloom, fixation of quota for hank yarn production in the mills, restriction on capacity utilisation in the case of mills and powerloom units, etc. But in practice most of these policies remained unimplemented. Very often these regulations have been violated by the mills and power loom units. It is also found that most of these violations have been gradually accommodated and formalised in the subsequent policies.

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Updated On : 19th Jun, 2023
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