Chirala: Handloom weavers demand recognition as MSMEs
- Seek special marketing assistance
- Urge Centre to provide a monthly aid of Rs 3,000 for the next six months as they have been left without any work due to the Covid pandemic
Chirala: The handloom weavers of Amodagiripatnam, Ayodhya Nagar and Nulumillu centre of Vetappalem mandal participated in a demonstration on handloom issues at a programme organised by the Rashtra Chenetha Jana Samakhya (RCJS) and National Federation of Handlooms and Handicrafts at Vetapalem on Saturday.
The leaders of handloom weavers Macherla Mohan Rao of NFHH, Devana Veera Nageswara Rao, Karna Hanumantha Rao, Vavilala Dasaradhi and Ambabathuni Gangadhar of RCJS explained that the weavers and allied workers were in great distress as they have not been able to start work and export immediately due to the lockdowns to contain and control the spread of coronavirus.
They said that due to the loss of working days, the handloom weavers and artisans were facing severe starvation for the last few weeks. They observed that there was no hope of immediate revival of the market (both domestic and export) for the finished products for another 6 months and demanded that the government provide financial assistance and work by establishing procurement and production centres.
They also demanded that the government take immediate steps to include the handloom weavers as part of the MSME sector, according to the guidelines of gazette notification No 175, S.O. 2119(E) of June 26, 2020 and provide special marketing assistance. They demanded that the Central government provide Rs 3,000 each month for 6 months in addition to the regular ration supplied under PDS for the handloom weavers. They appealed to the government to provide work order of Rs 5000 crore to supply a dhoti and saree to each of the 23 crore BPL families in the country, so that the handloom workers get wages and the poor families get new clothes in the distress situation.
They weavers urged the government to waive the loans of cooperative societies and provide Rs 10,000 as share capital for the members. They also demanded the government to extend help through other allowances and assistances like for procuring yarn and silk through National Handloom Development Corporation, Atma Nirbhar Bharat, MUDRA scheme and provide moratorium of 3 years from paying GST on handlooms and handicrafts and provide ESI facility to the weavers.