Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cash Need worried handloom sector in odisha over Powerloom

BHUBANESWAR: Competition from power looms and credit unavailability have been the biggest stumbling blocks in development of handloom sector in Odisha.
While increasing number of power looms has snatched the livelihood of many traditional weavers in Western and Southern Odisha, Government schemes do not reach them on time. Besides, these weavers mostly come under the unorganised sector and most of them meet credit needs through informal channels.
Though a Weaver Credit Card (WCC) scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Textiles in association with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in 2012, it has been moving at a snail’s pace in Odisha. The scheme was launched with an aim to meet the credit requirements of weavers in a flexible and cost-effective manner.
Apparently, financial support has not been forthcoming from commercial banks. The WCC scheme was conceptualised to introduce an institutional finance system for the weavers who have no support system, except money lenders and private cooperative societies, to fall back upon. Under this scheme, a weaver can seek credit upto `two lakh with no collateral security. The scheme holds significance as the WCC cards would enable weavers to get adequate and timely assistance from banks to meet their credit requirements both for working capital and investments like upgradation of looms and purchase of new equipment.
At present, Odisha has 43,650 looms being run by 1,92,330 weavers. Of them, around 86,000 weavers operate under 519 weaver co-operative societies.
According to official reports, till July this year, only 564 WCCs have been issued by 28 commercial banks operating in the State against 13,448 applications. This is against the target of two lakh WCCs that the department aims to issue in 2014-15 financial year.
Last year, 10,031 WCCs were issued and a loan amount of `151.75 lakh was sanctioned against which `117.6 lakh has been disbursed. In 2012-13 financial year, just about 309 cards were issued by banks in the State against an application for 17,234 cards. Though camps were organised by the Textile Department in all districts to make weavers aware of the scheme and seek applications in the last two financial years, no such camp has been held this year.
Disbursement of funds by the banks has also been measly. At least four banks have not disbursed anything to the weavers.
Director of Handloom and Textiles Department, Manmohan Sahoo, admitted that weavers are not getting timely assistance from banks during credit requirement.
“The Weavers Credit Card scheme has not been implemented properly in the State because of the commercial banks. As many as 12,884 applications for WCCs are pending with different banks. At the recent State Level Bankers’ Committee meet, we asked the banks connected with the scheme to hasten the processing of card applications for the benefit of the weavers community,” he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment