Cabinet clears Rs 3,884 cr relief package for weavers

New Delhi: The Cabinet has cleared a debt waiver package of Rs 3,884 crore for handloom weavers, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who holds additional charge of Textiles Ministry, said on Friday. "The Cabinet has cleared restructuring package for hanloom sector which will give immense relief to weavers. This package is for Rs 3,884 crore," he told reporters here.

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had met on Friday. Sharma said the package will benefit 13 lakh weavers, including two lakh from the poll bound Uttar Pradesh. Last week, the Centre had announced that it would implement a Rs 6,234 crore package. The remaining Rs 2,350 crore was for a six-fold strategy to uplift weavers during the 12th Plan (2012-17).

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who has been touring extensively Uttar Pradesh ahead of the next year Assembly elections, had asked the Centre to provide relief to handloom sector. In a letter to Sharma, Gandhi had said that the handloom sector has come under stress on account of stiff competition and credit unavailability.

The government had earlier said under the Rs 6,234 core package, an individual weaver will get benefit up to Rs 50,000. The scheme will help 15,000 weavers` cooperative societies besides individual weavers, it said.