New Delhi: With an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today said a separate ministry would be created for weavers and artisans if the NDA came to power.
"We have decided to write in our manifesto (for 2014 general elections) that if the BJP comes to power, the textile ministry will remain but for handloom, handicrafts and artisans, an independent ministry will be established," Gadkari said.
Addressing a weavers` conference organised by the BJP, he said the party in its manifesto would also recommend giving interest free loans upto Rs 50,000 to weavers and artisans.
"Different packages have been declared for weavers like the ones before UP elections, but the ground reality is that the circumstances in which weavers live have have not changed," Gadkari said.
He said the party`s vision document would also mention its plans to create 10 crore jobs in the handloom and handicraft sector.
Accusing the central government of not being sensitive towards the needs of the poor, the BJP leader said, "If we take the government criteria for poverty, that is Rs 66 a day, which is less than Rs 2000 a month, is it possible for weavers to live in this budget. Can they get medical treatment and medicines with this money?"
"The criteria for defining poverty needs to be redefined and the workers and artisans should be given health insurance," he said.
Taking a swipe at rival parties, Gadkari said they were only family concerns.
"Any leader who is worried about the future of his or her son and not the future of the country will not be able to develop the country. There is a mother who keeps thinking what kind of Prime Minister her son would make. Another leader is happy that his son has become Chief Minister," he said.