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Varanasi weavers and jewellers pin hopes on budget

Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 6:47pm IST | Place: Varanasi/Rajkot | Agency: ANI

Weavers and jewellers hope for a promising financial plan for their respective sectors ahead of the budget, which will be presented by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, next week on July 10.

The weaving industry in Uttar Pradesh expects modernisation of its power looms so that the country can compete with China in terms of production. However, one of their pressing concerns was the fate of the handloom industry. Many believe handloom weaving is a dying art as it is not as profitable as weaving done by power looms, which is why many good weavers are taking up different professions.

"Those employed in the handloom industry should be given the title of a good artisan so that they get more wage and they do not get a inferiority complex. When a weaver's child is educated, he does not prefer sitting in the dirt and weaving. They prefer to get jobs where they can earn some more money or get a second-hand power loom and work on it rather than continue weaving. If this continues, this art is going to die and there will be shortage of good weavers," said Assistant Director, Handloom and Textiles Industries, Varanasi zone, KP Verma.

Weavers expect concessions from Narendra Modi-led government so that they can get fabric at fair prices and the art continues. "First of all, we need a facility for fabric because fabric is very expensive and weavers cannot easily buy it. When the wedding season begins, the fabric goes out of stock. Weavers who weave Banarasi sarees are unable to make ends meet since the work stops. There should be a scheme where weavers can get the fabric directly at low prices so that they can continue weaving. Also, handlooms are slowly being replaced by power looms.

A lot of people have become unemployed because of this. The government should look into it," said a weaver, Mohammed Ashraf.

Jewellers in Rajkot in Gujarat also have expectations ahead of the announcement of fiscally prudent budget. They say import duty on gold should be reduced from 10 percent so that more people buy gold and businesses boom.

"In the last four to five years, the import duty on gold has risen from four to 10 percent. The first expectation from the new government is a reduction in the import duty so that the industry can develop and it can also benefit customers, workers and traders," said Secretary, Rajkot Gold Dealers Association, Jayendra Ranpara.

Investors are betting that Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will unveil next week a credible budget that seeks to raise revenue, including from sales of state-run firms, while keeping spending under control.




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