Handloom industry is the largest cottage industry in the State. The State was ranked the fourth position in terms of the number of looms in the country according to the Handloom Census, 1987. It has more than 2.7 lakhs looms comprising of fly shuttle, throw shuttle and loin looms with a weaver population of more than 2.8 lakhs of which about 1 lakh are full time weavers, according to the above handloom census. The State Government has made full efforts for overall development of handloom industry in the State. Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation and Manipur Development Society are the two agencies of the State Government taking concerted efforts for production and marketing of handloom products. Manipur State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society is the apex co-operative society taking pivotal role in the co-operative sector for development of handloom in the State. There is also, a departmentally run Raw Material Bank in the Commerce & Industries Department to meet the requirements of various types and qualities of yarns of weavers at reasonable price. The Mechanized Dye House now run under the Commerce & Industry Department is also making full efforts to make available quality dyed yarn for the weavers of the State. Various schemes are also implemented for growth and development of handloom in the State.
Some of the important handloom schemes are enumerated below:
Project Package Scheme
Under the scheme, the facilities are availability of margin money, supply of looms and accessories, setting up of work shed, training of weavers, setting up of dye house and godown, design input, publicity and advertisement, common facility centre, sales centre, infrastructure development, etc. So far, 2407 weavers have been assisted involving an amount of Rs. 262.53 lakhs under the scheme.
Under the scheme, assistance are available for construction of work shed, common facility centre, training of weavers, supply of looms, participation in exhibition, provision of margin money and infrastructure development. So far, 1100 weavers have been assisted involving an amount of Rs. 181.67 lakhs under the scheme.
Handloom weaving is mostly in the cottage scale and there is need for adequate work shed. In view of this, Government of India sanctions for construction of work sheds to the weavers from time to time. So far, 4590 weavers have been assisted under the scheme involving an amount of Rs. 216.00 lakhs.
Deen Dayal Hathkargha Protsahan Yojana
The scheme has come into operation with effect from April 2001. It is a comprehensive scheme for handloom sectors to take care of a wide range of activities such as, product development, infrastructural and institutional support, training of weavers, supply of equipment and marketing support, etc. both at macro and micro levels in an integrated and coordinated manner for an overall development and benefit of handloom weavers. It also, attempts to provide such facilities, which would enable the weavers within co-operative fold as well as outside, to take up production as per the market demand. The scheme attempts to assist the needs of weavers for working capital, basic inputs, creating awareness and to support quality fabric productions through appropriate design intervention for increase in productivity along with provision for publicity, marketing and transport incentives, etc.
The Government of India has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 240.69 lakhs and released a sum of Rs. 120.28 lakhs as first installment Central share for implementation of 64 projects.
Health Package Scheme
Under the scheme, financial assistance in the form of medical reimbursement is provided to weavers for medical treatment of diseases like Asthma, T.B., inflammation of alimentary system, etc., eye testing, spectacles, maternity, sterilization, drinking water facility and primary health care with the sole objective of keeping good health for all weavers. So far, 8315 weavers have been assisted involving Rs. 50.95 lakhs under the scheme.
Miscellaneous handloom schemes
Over and above these schemes, 1500 weavers have been assisted involving Rs. 1.20 lakhs under the Group Insurance Scheme, 1425 weavers involving Rs. 2.56 lakhs under the Thrift Fund Scheme, 4500 weavers involving Rs. 90.00 lakhs under the scheme of margin money for destitute handloom weavers. 17 festive fairs had also, been held involving Rs. 31.90 lakhs with the assistance from the Government of India.