ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Failure of Uttar Pradesh’s Textile Policy

The rejuvenation of textile industry post 2017 and the government’s claim of doubling the per capita income of handloom workers from the year 2016 to 2020 has been contradictory to the Fourth All India Handloom Census, 2019–20, released by the Ministry of Textiles. This article critically analyses why the Uttar Pradesh textile policy of 2017 fails to enhance the economic situation of the handloom workers.

Uttar Pradesh (UP) has over 2,50,000 handloom weavers operating in about 1,10,000 handlooms with natural clusters developed over hundreds of years. Hand embroidery of delicate quality is the strength of several traditional districts, such as Farrukhabad, Bareilly, and Lucknow. Most of the weavers followed the footsteps of their forefathers in this tradition; the wholesalers are fourth or fifth-generation traders in the business. Handloom weaving is primarily a household-based business. Thus, weaving is considered a very respectable vocation for both men and women in rural and urban areas. Thousands of young people have been trained in the state in the past decade in government-sponsored skill development programmes. These skilled workers are in demand all across the textile industries. Varanasi and Mubarakpur are world-renowned for silk sarees of the highest quality and contributes 90% of the silk saree production of the state.

Moreover, 25% of the male working force from Varanasi is engaged in the weaving industry as the primary source of livelihood (Information and Public Relations Department 2018). Because of the overwhelming potential of employment generation of this sector, the current Prime Minister recognised 7 August as National Handloom Day to promote the heritage and culture of handloom weaving in the Indian economy. But the weaving industry of UP has undergone significant changes in the past few years and lost its prestigious tradition after the technological innovationshifting from handloom to power loom. The invention of the power loom has unprecedentedly increased the price of yarn that directly affected the livelihood of the weaver community, and they have never been able to recover from this jolt. As a result, most of the weavers condition has fallen into a deplorable state, with rising poverty, hunger, and a lack of capacity to sustain their business (PVCHR 2013). To revive the traditional textile industry of UP, the government has rejuvenated the existing Textile Garmenting Policy, 2017. This policy aims to improve the standard of living of people across all sections to enable them to lead dignified lives. In addition, various provisions have been made to increase industrial investment and generate more employment.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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