While analyzing the issues and challenges for the handloom industry, discuss the policy initiatives taken by the government towards its protection.|

Indian handloom sector is ancient and has served the economy well in terms of employment. Handloom industry is one of the largest cottage industry in the country. The sector is very important from the point of view of its size and employment potential. 
In the recent years, growth of handloom industry has been hampered due to variety of factors:

  • The growth in power looms, now supplying more than 70% of Indian textiles, according to textile ministry statistics.
  • Significant mismatch between cloth production and marketing needs to be seriously tackled. Illegal encroachment of handloom markets through perfect imitations of handloom products which rob the genuine producers of their share of revenue.
  • Major difficulty of handloom weavers across the country is the non-availability of adequate quantities of good quality yarn at reasonable prices dur to historical delinking of yarn production from crop production.
  • Governmental intervention regarding yarn supply is confined to the co-operative sector. However, according to one estimate, only 20.3% of weavers come under this umbrella.
  • The credit facilities currently available to weavers are inadequate and those made available through co-operatives rarely reach the sections for whom it is intended.
  • Export faces competition from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.
  • Lack of information to weavers regarding various policies and schemes is one of significant causes for the dwindling fortunes of the weaver communit

Government has launched various schemes to promote Handloom sector

  • To promote authentic handloom: Government launched Handloom Mark system.
  • Production related :
  • Technology Upgradation Fund to by new machines, renovation etc.,
  • Integrated Handlooms Development Scheme (IHDS) to form Self Help Groups (SHGs). Government gives you money for buying raw material and machines.
  • Social Security:
  • Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana: Gives monetary relief incase of a weaver’s death or disability.
  • Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) for weavers.

Recently Telangana government took initiative to gift its officials and ministers Handloom products, done to restore glory of these products. Revival of Handloom industry is essential to protect Indian heritage, promote employment and development in rural areas.


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