Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised Khadi and handloom products and said that they are transforming and empowering the poor by bringing positive and qualitative changes in their lives – PM has been hard-selling Khadi for quite a few years now. Emphasising on the fact that Khadi is playing a very important role for Gramodaya, in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday, the PM said it has transformed the lives of the poorest of the poor and is emerging as a powerful means of empowering them. The sale of khadi and handloom witnessed 90 per cent increase during this Diwali against the previous year’s figure, the prime minister said. He said that khadi sales at just one outlet in Delhi on the last ‘Dhanteras’ festival on October 17 was a record Rs 1.2 crore.
The prime minister also stressed on the sale of khadi gift coupon that recorded an overwhelming 680 per cent rise during Diwali. He added, compared to last year, the total sales of khadi and village industries products have risen almost by 90 percent. “One can clearly see that today, the youth, the elderly and women of every age group are taking to khadi,” the prime minister said.
Modi has emerged as a brand ambassador of sorts, helping khadi record impressive sales growth over the last few years. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) earlier in the month of May this year, reported nearly 33 per cent growth in the sale of khadi products to Rs 2,005 crore in the fiscal year 2016-17 from Rs 1,510 crore during 2015-16. While the overall sales of both Khadi and village industries had jumped over 24 per cent to approximately Rs 51,996 crore in 2016-17, the production had also shot up over 23 per cent to Rs 42,506 crore, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said in a statement, reported IANS.
The khadi and village industries products are manufactured by about seven lakh privately-owned household units, which are funded through schemes such as the Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme.