Smriti Irani bats for Centre-State cooperation

State’s first garment unit inaugurated

Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma & MoS, Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju interact with weavers at the apparel & garment making centre at Hatisil, Ampati on Monday

TURA: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said cooperation between the Centre and the State can go a long way in ensuring that the benefits of development reach everyone.
Irani who, along with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, inaugurated Meghalaya’s first state-of-the-art apparel and garment making centre at Ampati on Monday morning, said the project was testimony to the Centre-State coordination.
The centre, which was a “vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, covers an area of 45,000 sqft at Hatisil. The Rs 14.26-crore project was commissioned under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme.
Modi, during his visit to Nagaland in 2014, had announced that an apparel and garment making centre would be set up in the North East that will create 1,200 jobs.
The Union Minister said her ministry is pumping Rs 70 crore into sericulture and weaving sector and has already sanctioned Rs 32 crore of the proposed Rs 53 crore for promotion of handlooms.
Irani encouraged the youth and women to take advantage of the schemes and hone their entrepreneurial skills.
Praising the quality of dyes in the North East in general and Meghalaya in particular, she urged local weavers to register with the India Handloom Board, “which will connect them directly with multinational companies”.
“I have asked the Chief Minister to ensure that the weavers of the State are duly registered with the India Handloom Board propagated by the Prime Minister and connect the weavers of this region directly with big companies,” said Irani.
Multinational brands which have joined hands with the handloom board, purchased 4 lakh metres of cloth from weavers last year, she added.
On the new centre at Hatisil, Sangma said it was built after taking into consideration Meghalaya’s proximity to neighbouring Bangladesh, which has immense marketing potential.
“It is because of the proximity to the neighbouring country and marketing potential that the State Government has decided to start a business incubation centre and industrial business centre at Hatisil. Our idea is to ensure that the whole livelihood opportunity is available in the backyard,” said the chief minister.
The centre, which came up in less than two years, has 105 sewing machines each in the first two units and 70 in the third unit. Its foundation was laid in 2015 by the chief minister and Union Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
“Meghalaya has created an environment for ease of doing business and is ready to provide land through its ambitious plan of rural entrepreneurs centre to investors,” said Sangma.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who was also part of the delegation to inaugurate the centre at Hatisil, said the Centre is focusing on Meghalaya, particularly Garo Hills, in creating job-oriented programmes.
Highlighting the immense potential the region possesses, Rijiju said there was a need to create industries and employment opportunities to harness the potentialities of various sectors, particularly sericulture and weaving.
Earlier, Irani had expressed concern over the poverty and militancy in Garo Hills and appreciated the people’s decision to be part of the economic environment.