Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Government will come out with a policy paper and action plan to improve the condition of handloom sector in the state, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said on Saturday.
Addressing an interactive workshop with the representatives of the handloom sector here, the Chief Minister said his government released Rs 164 crore this year towards loan waiver scheme for the weavers.
"We will release another Rs 29 crore while Rs 104 crore will come from the Government of India under the Revival and Restructuring package," he added.
He asked the weavers to adopt innovative ways and catch up with technological advancements to improve their lot.
Union Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi said her ministry released a grant of Rs 90 crore to APCO, the handloom co-operative society of the state, which was the highest given to any state in the country.
"We are ready to release funds for construction of work sheds for handloom weavers. If the state government can integrate it with the housing schemes, weavers can build house-cum-work sheds," she said.
State Textiles Minister Prasad Kumar, legislators from various political parties, leaders of weavers` co-operative societies and officials of different departments were present.
The government is expected to make a policy announcement later in the evening, based on the deliberations at the workshop, official sources said.
Meanwhile, opposition MLAs staged a protest when media personnel covering the event were asked to leave soon after the introductory remarks.
TDP MLAs Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu and L Ramana wanted the
Chief Minister to let scribes sit through the proceedings so that the weavers` concerns could be reflected in the media.
As Ramana rushed to the dais to make his point, Congress MLAs too came in, which led to some commotion.
The Chief Minister said it was not the practice to let journalists sit through the proceedings at a workshop.
"We are here to discuss the weavers` problems. There is no need for media to report all this," he remarked.
After a while, the media personnel themselves walked out of the conference hall.