Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the troubled textile and Banarasi silk industries of Uttar Pradesh will have to change with the times and use e-commerce to tap global markets.
Modi, on his first visit to his parliamentary constituency since being elected as the PM, also announced a R2,375-crore package to revive cooperative banks in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Modi’s statement came while laying the foundation of the Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum in Varanasi.
“In terms of the number of people who earn their living out of it, textile comes second only to agriculture. It is a unique productive activity wherein the schism between employer and employee does not exist,” he said at Lalpur, a village on the outskirts of Varanasi. “Those who invest their capital and those who work with their hands, function together like a family.”
Modi said Banarasi saree are still in demand: “Every mother wants to gift a Benarasi saree to her daughter for her wedding. The requirement now is to meet this demand and satisfy the customer with modern designs, products and service,” he said.
On the government’s attempt to revive 16 cooperative banks in eastern UP, Modi said, “This (the R2,375-crore package) will ensure easy availability of credit to lower and middle-class families, and help revive the handloom and powerloom sectors.”
He, however, added that the package was not a political move: “We need to revive these banks while keeping petty politics at bay. After all, these institutions are run through participation of people of all political affiliations.”