Subsidy worth Rs 6,000 crore has been allocated for the handloom sector, which does not fall under the purview of the GST regime, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. Replying to questions, Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta said during the Question Hour that “the Handloom weavers do not come under the GST regime as their total turnover is below Rs 20 lakh.” Maintaining that the government was concerned over the welfare of handloom eavers, he said in order to encourage the setting up of solar power handloom units, the government provides a subsidy of 90 per cent to scheduled tribe weavers, 75 per cent to scheduled caste weavers and 50 per cent to the general category weavers. Tamta said on August 7, the government will also hold an all-India handloom programme for weavers in Guwahati to create awareness about various programmes initiated to promote the handloom sector.
To a question on providing special rebates on handloom products, the minister clarified that there is no proposal to offer 20 per cent year-long rebate on the handloom products. But, the government may consider this suggestion, he added. In her written reply, Textile Minister Smriti Irani said the government has launched the India Handloom Brand (IHB) for branding of high quality handloom products and as of June 30, a total sale of Rs 159 crore has been reported on account of IHB products. She said IHB has partnered with various retail stores to showcase and sell its exclusive products and a total of Rs 3.65 crore has been reported so far through these stores. “20 e-commerce entities have also been engaged for online marketing of handloom products and as of June 30, a total sale of Rs 10.62 crore has been generated from online portal on account of online marketing handloom products,” she said in her written reply.