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Policy on anvil to protect local weavers

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Sale of imported silk as Assam silk must be halted: CM

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, March 26: With Rongali Bihu less than a month away, powerloom mekhela chadors and gamosas made in faraway places in UP, Gujarat and other states are now flooding the markets in Assam. These imported mekhela chadors and gamosas are priced much lower than the traditiolly made Assamese mekhela chadors and gamosas, which are uniquely designed multi-use cloth having immense significance in Assamese society.

Expressing serious concern over the issue, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday announced that a separate handloom policy will be introduced to safeguard the interests of local weavers and keep the practice of producing traditiol garments alive in the State.

Talking to media persons outside the Assembly, Gogoi said, “We can’t stop the import of mekhela chadors and gamosas from outside the State but a trader in the State should not sell such imported items by branding these as Assamese silk. In the cash memo, items should for example be mentioned as Berasi silk and not as Assamese silk.”

According to a law under the Union Ministry of Textiles, the Assamese mekhela chador, Bodo dakha, Manipuri mekhela (wrappers) and Assamese gamosa are reserved items exclusively in the handloom sector, and these cannot be manufactured through powerloom.

However, lack of a regulator and monitoring system has led to a flourishing trade of imported gamosas during Bihu festivities in the State.

Gogoi further informed that he has instructed Handloom and Textile minister Bismita Gogoi to visit Sualkuchi, hub of muga silk production in the State, to take stock of the situation there. “Departmental squads have also been activated to keep an eye on sale of imported mekhela chadors and gamosas, claiming these to be Assamese silk,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that a yarn bank will be set up in Sualkuchi soon to provide local weavers yarn at subsidized rate.

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