SHIMLA 13 April:

Industries Minister Shri Bikram Singh called on Union Minister for Textiles Smt Smriti Irani at New Delhi on Thursday evening and apprised her about various pending issues of the State with the Ministry of Textiles and requested for early approvals and release of funds under various schemes.

He said that 21 projects for training and upgradation of skills of artisans and weavers were sent to the Ministry out of which only six projects worth 11.80 lakh had been sanctioned so far. He said that one proposal of Akhara bazaar of Kullu involving an amount of Rs 56 lakh for covering 96 weavers was also awaiting approval.

He added that 50 percent amount for 49 technical programmes worth Rs 1.32 lakh were released and another 50 percent amount under the programme was yet to be released. He further said that a sum of Rs 2.02 crores under marketing proposals/claims of eight primary weavers societies for last three financial years were also pending.

The Industries Minister requested the Union Minister to sanction three more clusters for weavers of Mandi, Kullu and Kangra. Two clusters amounting to Rs. 96.25 lakh each were sanctioned for weavers of the state , he added.

Shri Bikram Singh informed the Minister that presently nine training centres in Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Solan, Mandi and Bilaspur districts were being run by State Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation after availing a central assistance of 1.32 crores for providing training to 360 handicrafts artisans in hand knotting embroidery, metal crafts, shawl weaving, leather craft, wood craft and weaving embroidery.

Smt. Smriti Irani heard the demands of the Industries Minister patiently and assured of all possible assistance.

Later, he also called on Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and discussed various issues under skill development.

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