The Industries and Commerce Department has successfully pitched for several initiatives and investments aimed at reviving and boosting the textiles sector in the State.
One of them is the modernization of the once famed Silk Factory at Raj Bagh in Srinagar being upgraded with replacement of 44 looms, commissioning of finishing plant, boiler and other machinery besides execution of civil works at a total cost of ?23.54 crore.
On completion of the project, which has been targeted for two years, the silk production at the factory is projected to increase from the current 50 thousand meters to 5 lac meters annually, taking the total silk production of the State from 2.80 lac meters to 6.80 lac meters per annum. The addition of 4 lac meters will be of high-end fabric, which will increase the value from ?5 crore to ?32 crore.
The modernization project is also expected to benefit some 20 thousand cocoon growers and other ancillary workers in the Kashmir Valley. Besides, most of the cocoon produced locally would be bought here, thereby stabilizing the cocoon prices and also raising the demand for more cocoon production in the State.
In addition to the upgradation of the Silk Factory, the Department has also had the upgradation of the Bemina Woolen Mills approved by the World Bank. The Mill is being upgraded with installation of a high-speed plant, a carding machine, a boiler and rapier looms along with the execution of civil works at a total cost of ?11.74 crore.
The wool production of the State is projected to increase from 5 lac meters to 9 lac meters per annum after its revival, with the addition of 4 lac meters of the high-end fabric projected to increase the value from?2.50 crore to 34 crore.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently laid the foundations of the two modernization projects approved by the World Bank under the Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
The Department has also had the export-oriented Handloom Development Project of the Handloom Development Corporation approved at Samba in Jammu. The work on the project has been started.
For the promotion of pashmina, the Union Ministry of Textiles has agreed to provide an amount of ?50 crore for undertaking the Pashmina Promotion Programme under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan.
Whereas to boost the carpet-weaving industry in the State, the Department has nearly completed the distribution of some 8000 modern carpet looms to the carpet weavers of the State. Besides, the Union Ministry of Textiles has agreed to sanction an additional lot of 6000 modern carpet looms, involving a Central share of ?24 crore.
To uplift the status of artisans as well as to encourage their business activities, the Government has provided ?46.79 crore as 10% Interest Subvention for the cases sanctioned under the Artisan Credit Card Scheme against which ?15.20 crore was provided for the purpose during 2015-16 and ?31.59 crore was provided during 2016-17 to clear the previous dues on account of Interest Subvention. Some 4,748 beneficiaries have benefited under the scheme so far.
In addition, a scheme for rehabilitation of Fur artisans has also been formulated and is being implemented from the current fiscal.