Centre to consider mega handloom cluster

Bhubaneswar: The Centre would consider Odisha`s proposal for establishment of mega handloom clusters in the state, Union Textile minister Anand Sharma said today. "We will definitely be interested to work with Odisha for establishment of handloom clusters in the state. The ministry, however, will consider this only after receiving a detailed proposal," Sharma told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Though Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced the mega cluster proposal in his budget speech to benefit weavers across the country, the chief minister had expressed displeasure over exclusion of Odisha. During the discussion, the chief minister raised issues relating to handloom, handicraft and marine products, Sharma said. He said the ministry was setting up a National Institute of Fashion Technology here.

Replying a question on the welfare of the weavers in the state, the union minister said they were entitled to get benefits under two schemes. "The state government has been holding camps to identify beneficiaries for welfare welfare programmes," he said. The chief minister said the state government requested Sharma for setting up a handloom cluster in Odisha`s Bargarh district.