Jharkhand was the only state that participated (under the 'Jharcraft' banner) at the recently concluded AEPC-organised India International Garment Fair (IIGF) in Delhi. Most of the participants were private players. Jharkhand's traditional 'tussar silk' handicraft and designs are well known across the country.
"We will enter into an MoU with the AEPC to raise our traditional designs and products to international standards," said Jharkhand deputy chief minister-cum-industry minister Sudhir Mahato here Friday.
Jharkhand recently started an apparel training & design centre at Irwa in Ranchi that will provide 14 types of apparel-related training to youngsters of the state, including dropouts from Jharkhand schools. Fees range from Rs 15,000-50,000.
"The government intends to make such training free-of-cost for Adivasis/harijans and backward-class students," said Mahato. Mahato said youngsters from Jharkhand were being paid wages as low as Rs 1,000-Rs 1,200 a month by the garment industry in and around Haryana, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi.
According to the minister, a survey showed that around 60% of the workforce in the garment industry were from Jharkhand. "Those who have completed the apparel training can expect a minimum salary of around Rs 10,000 a month," he said. Mahato said he had recently sanctioned money for starting 10 more ATD centres in different parts of Jharkhand, including Chandil, Ghatsila, Chaibasa, Dumka, Sahebgunj, Deoghar, Jamtara, Hazaribagh, Daltonganj and Garwah.
The opening of each centre will cost the exchequer around Rs 1 crore. The minister, who returned from Delhi on Friday, said the state would also have an "apparel export unit" at Chandil, 30 km from here, for which he had held talks with the AEPC chairman. The unit will handle all garments produced in the state for export, he said. The state also plans to start, with the help of the Centre and the AEPC, an 'apparel management institute' at Ranchi that will offer diplomas to students passing out from it.
The state has also written to the central rural development cell for aid to those interested in AEPC-recognised apparel projects under the special 'Swarn Jayanti Swarozgar Yojna (SJSY)'. The minister said directives have also been issued in this regard to the state rural department.