KTR seeks Rs 900 cr in Union Budget for TS textiles and handlooms sector

HYDERABAD: Ahead of Union Budget 2023-24, minister for handlooms and textiles K.T. Rama Rao urged the Centre to allocate sufficient funds for strengthening the handlooms sector in Telangana state. While mentioning that the Centre did not extend financial support to the various pioneering initiatives taken up by the state government for weavers in the past eight years, he said that this will be the last full-fledged Budget of the current Central government,
which will be followed by vote on account budget in 2024.

In a media statement on Wednesday, Rama Rao said that multiple appeals by
the state government to strengthen the sector were not considered favourably
by the Centre. Narendra Modi-led Central government should prove its
commitment to the weavers and textiles sector, he added.

Recognising the importance of infrastructure to usher rapid progress of the handlooms sector, the state government is establishing Kakatiya Mega Textiles Park in Warangal, he said, adding that the biggest textile park in India is attracting investments from national and international companies. He said that the Centre has options to extend financial support under various schemes to the park, which is being established with Rs 1600 crore.

"At least Rs 900 crore should be allotted in the upcoming budget towards
infrastructure for the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park and other programmes," he

The minister appealed that the powerloom Sector in Sircilla, which has over
25,000 powerloom machines, be recognised as Mega Powerloom Cluster and allot Rs 100 crores to it. Listing the Worker to Owner Scheme and other programmes taken up by the state government, he said that it takes over Rs 990 crore for strengthening of value chain, modernisation of power looms in Sircilla, improvement of market, skill development, capacity building, project monitoring, and appealed that a major share of the funds has to be announced in the budget.

Stating that there are over 40,000 handloom weavers in various parts of Telangana, with most of them in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri, Gadwal, Warangal, Rajanna Sircilla, Karimnagar districts, Rao urged the Centre to grant Indian
Institute of Handloom Technology to the state. He said that land parcels to establish the institute are available at Gundlapochampally and Yadadri
Bhuvanagiri. He also urged for the National Textiles Research Institute,
Handlooms Exports Promotion Council to be announced in this budget, and to
grant Block Level Handlooms Clusters under the National Handloom Development Project. He made a special appeal to scrap the GST on handlooms products to save the weavers who are in financial crisis.

He also appealed to the Centre to revive the Handlooms, Powerlooms, and
Handicrafts Boards which were dissolved by the Union Government, to
re-introduce insurance and savings schemes for weavers, and increase yarn
subsidy, alike to the State government, to 50%.

Explaining the dire situation of the sector in the country, Rao said that India is lagging behind smaller countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the textiles segment as the Centre did not provide sufficient infrastructure. He also said that the state government's policies, incentives and infrastructure in the Mega Textiles Park attracted globally prominent Kitex Group which was preparing to leave the country. He said that Centre's 'Make in India' will be reduced to a slogan if infrastructure and incentives are not provided. Narendra Modi government has failed miserably in attracting international textile companies to our country, he alleged.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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