CM Biren Singh inaugurates Manipur International Textile Expo, distributes Rs 23 crore to weavers, boatmen
N Biren Singh speaking at the inauguration of MANITEX

Imphal: Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Saturday inaugurated MANITEX, Manipur International Textile Expo, at the Urban Haat Nilakuthi in Imphal East district.

The expo which will continue till November 14, 2022, is organised by the Directorate of Handlooms & Textiles.

Speaking as chief guest of the inaugural function, the CM said the financial assistance through DBT will be distributed to around 15,450 handloom weavers and boatmen with a total outlay of around Rs 23.4815 crore.

Today, beneficiaries of different schemes received funds directly transferred to their accounts, the chief minister said, highlighting that funds are transferred directly to farmers, weavers, old age pensioners, scheme beneficiaries, etc. under different schemes.

CM Biren Singh also said that considering instances of mass production of traditional cloths like the Khudei, Phanek, enaphi, etc, by using machines outside the state which are made available at a cheaper price to control the market, shops and business houses in Ima market have been instructed that such traditional items which are handmade should not be replaced by machine-made copies.

He made it clear that traditional hand-woven and handmade clothes cannot be replaced with machine-made products. 

The step assumes significant, especially considering the fact that sections of people in the state, including women vendors and even student bodies have raised concern against the machine made products copying the traditional clothing are being sold in the market. 

CM Biren Singh also acknowledged womenfolk’s contribution to the state’s economy. Our people have the potential, talents and especially womenfolk are courageous and brave, he said, further highlighting the respect and popularity the state’s Ima keithels have garnered in national and international platforms.

“Considering that some businessmen are trying to monopolize the yarn business, the government has decided to establish a wholesaler of yarn at Ima Keithel so that weavers can get them at cheaper prices,” he said.

Meanwhile, textiles minister Nemcha Kipgen expressed pride that the National Handloom Census Report shows an increase in the number of weavers as well as looms in Manipur compared to other states. 

She further said that the government is trying to obtain financial assistance from the centre and other agencies to promote the state’s handloom and handicraft products. 

She added that the government is prioritising ‘vocal for local’ and planning to upscale export of indigenous products.

As part of the inaugural function, the CM also launched a mega handloom cluster of Imphal East, laid foundation and launched craft handloom village of Moirang and distributed financial assistances to weavers through direct benefit transfer under the National Handloom Development Program. 

According to the 2019-2020 National Handloom Census Report, Manipur had 2.12 lakh handloom weavers, 2.11 lakh looms and 2 lakh handicraft artisans.

This year, altogether there were 274 stalls in the expo, including local weavers, artisans, entrepreneurs, local private companies, national level organizations, international stalls from Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar, food court, state government departments, etc.

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