The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has announced that weavers will henceforth be able to avail a wide array of Government services from Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs). The Minister said that besides providing technical assistance, the WSCs will serve as a one-stop centre for weavers, providing various services, including banking, passport, insurance, PAN card, voter ID and AADHAAR. The Minister added that weavers will also be able to pay their electricity bills and undertake online courses at WSCs. There are 28 WSCs under the Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, functioning in various parts of the country. Weavers visit these WSCs frequently, in order to avail technical assistance in relation to their profession. The Minister informed that the Ministry of Textiles will enter into an MoU tomorrow with Common Service Centres, which will enable WSCs to provide the aforementioned services, beginning from this year itself.Recalling the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s words that the development of the North Eastern Region is imperative for the development of India, the Minister informed the weavers that the main event of third National Handloom Day will be held in Guwahati.The Textiles Minister said that the PM Jan Dhan Yojana has eliminated middlemen and enabled transfer of public money directly to the bank account of deserving citizens.
The Minister said that around 25 crore citizens have got their bank accounts opened under PMJDY in last three years. Noting that seven banks are participating in the camp for distribution of loans today, Smt. Irani asked the woman weavers how often banks come to them to provide banking services. The Minister expressed her satisfaction that more than 250 women applied for MUDRA loans in just an hour after the camp started functioning. She informed the 600-odd woman weavers present, that loans ranging from Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 10 lakh can be availed under MUDRA Yojana with no requirement for any security whatsoever. She said that this demonstrates the faith reposed by the Government of India in the ability of its citizens to contribute to national development by becoming self-reliant. The Minister highlighted that handloom weavers in Sambalpur, Odisha, were able to improve their earnings by more than 60% within three months of availing MUDRA loan. Smt. Irani distributed MUDRA loan sanction letters to 50 weavers on the occasion, and appealed to all weavers to apply for the loan and improve their incomes.Noting that loom repair and upgradation is one reason why many weavers apply for loans, the Textiles Minister informed the weavers that Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata Scheme addresses this issue. She said that under this scheme, Government of India assists the weaver by bearing 90% of the cost of new looms; on distributing the scheme certificates, the Minister appealed more weavers to join the scheme so that they do not have to bear the heavy financial burden of buying a new loom.