Rahul for special package for UP handloom weavers

Rahul Gandhi has asked the Centre to formulate an "appropriate financial package" for crisis-ridden handloom weavers in UP.

Updated: Nov 18, 2011, 23:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has asked the Centre
to formulate an "appropriate financial package" for crisis-
ridden handloom weavers in Uttar Pradesh where Assembly
elections are round the corner.

The Congress leader has written a letter to Textiles
Minister Anand Sharma drawing his attention towards the plight
of weavers, most of whom belong to the weaker and minority

"I was informed that credit is also not easily
forthcoming for these weavers. I would, therefore, urge you to
formulate an appropriate financial package for millions of
bunkars (handloom weavers), most of whom belong to the weaker
community and to the minorities," the Congress General
Secretary said.

He said the weavers have been under considerable economic
distress on due to indebtedness.

Gandhi also said the handloom weavers have also been
facing enormous difficulties due to high yarn prices and stiff
competition from powerloom and mill sectors.

"...I would strongly recommend measures to ensure
availability of yarn at affordable prices, access to credit on
easy terms and freight reimbursement to retain the
competitiveness of this sector," he added.

The Gandhi scion also pointed out that in February the
Finance Minister had announced a loan waiver package of Rs
3,000 crore in his Budget speech which has so far not been

"It is, therefore, an imperative to ensure that the loan
waiver package be implemented at the earliest," he said.

He said he had discussed these matters with Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Meanwhile, Sharma will launch an integrated skill
development scheme for the carpet sector in Varanasi tomorrow.