India: Telangana asks Indian govt to help Sircilla weavers

India’s Telangana state has requested the central government to set up a mega power loom cluster in Sircilla as part of the Comprehensive Power Loom Cluster Development Scheme. In a letter to textiles minister Smriti Irani, state handlooms minister KT Rama Rao said 36,000 powerlooms in Sircilla are not being upgraded and the power consumption is increasing. Workers have to rely on traders for raw materials because of lack of investment and shortage of skilled workers and infrastructure is troubling Sircilla, media reports in Telangana reported citing the letter. Rama Rao said there had been a substantial improvement in the powerloom sector in two other states after clusters were set up. Silk saris manufacturers and weavers inKangeyam are worried about the abnormal trend of silk yarn price as it was affecting the industry."If the governments fail to take steps to control the inflation, it will affect 4 lakh labourers including 2.5 lakh indirect labourers in the industry in the state," said the manufacturers.

In Kangeyam, around 3,000 silk handlooms are operated by the weavers, who produce soft silk saris and other dresses. 90% of the weavers here would utilise Indian-made silk yarns for weft and China-made silk yarns for warp. Rest of them utilise Indian-made silk yarns for both the weft and warp, said R Balasubramanian, advisor of Kangeyam Silk Manufacturers Association.Now, one kilogram of weft silk yarns costs around Rs 4,300-4,500. It was only around Rs 3200-3300 five months ago. In case of warp silk yarns, it costs around Rs 5,200-5,400, which was only around Rs 4,100-4,300 five months ago.

Normally, the price fluctuations would be around Rs 200 averagely in a season in both the warp and weft silk yarns because of low production in winter season. The rate would start to come down in February, he said.
But this year, the price has shot up abnormally and even there was no sign of decreasing. "Though silks were extracted in various parts of the country, Bengaluru and few other places of Karnataka are the major market for silk yarns. We strongly suspect that the silk yarn manufacturers could have artificially increased the prices," he added.So, the central and state governments should intervene and reduce the silk yarn prices, he urged.

Source: DNA India, India
Saturday, 27 January 2018

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