CM Pema Khandu chairing the meeting with state's textiles and handicrafts dept on Thursday Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: In line with Atmanirbhar Bharat’s ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Thursday directed the state’s department of textiles and handicrafts to finalise its modalities to procure government office requirements from local NGOs, societies, self-help groups and entrepreneurs.

While chairing a meeting with officials concerned at his office in Itanagar, Khandu said that the process must be completed in a fixed time frame and assured coordination and support to the department in its endeavour.

“All requirements of government establishments will be procured from local producers only through the department of textiles and handicrafts. This will not only boost up our self-sustainability but also benefit our local producers, who at the moment are suffering due to want of markets to sell their products,” he said.

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The chief minister appreciated the department’s initiative of producing face masks from Eri silk based on traditional tribal designs for distribution to healthcare workers, police personnel and the state secretariat.

If these are produced on large scale with standard quality check, the designer masks can garner a big market even outside the state and country, he said.

He also said, “It is the time for the department to ramp up its activities and focus mainly on tying up with local producers and start offering products to buyers, starting with all state government establishments.”

Khandu expressed satisfaction on the information that the department has already received an order from the Health department for bedsheets for all the health centers in state. He, however, urged the department to equip itself to meet the demands, which will grow tremendously in future.

Khandu suggested that while framing the guidelines, a provision needs to be kept that requirements of a district should be met up from producers of that particular district so that everybody gets equal opportunity to benefit from the initiative. He also suggested that the department should upgrade its web portal with a new window for accepting orders online.

The chief minister appreciated the suggestion for issuing an advisory to all state government employees to don a local tribal attire of choice to office at least once a month. He requested the Chief Secretary present to take note and act as required.

The central government scheme – Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) – under MSME sector, which is yet to be tapped by the state government, was also discussed in detail.

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Under this scheme, traditional industries and artisans are organized into clusters to make them competitive and provide support for their long-term sustainability, sustained employment, enhanced marketability and equip traditional artisans with the improved skills.

The department is in the process of identifying NGOs in coordination of deputy commissioners for 25 such clusters in the state.

Meanwhile, the department of textiles and handicrafts has proposed to upgrade all its production centers spread across the state besides procuring and installing power looms. While setting a target to impart training and supply of queen bee and bee boxes to about 360 beneficiaries this year, the department also plans to upgrade the bee keeping center at Sille (Pasighat).

Under the new initiative the department proposes to procure and sell all textile products including Eri and Muga silk, handicrafts and furniture – wood, bamboo and cane. While acting as the nodal agency between local artisans and customers, the department will have control over the quality as well as the price.

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