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SHILLONG: With India’s silk industry fight against China’s rising imports, the Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Alok Kumar believes that the country can compete with the rest of the world once yarn of international quality is available.
As per media reports, with demand for silk exceeding supply, India has to import nearly 4,000 tonnes of silk fabrics from China.
As against the demand of 30,000 tonnes of raw and fabric silks, India was producing only 21,500 tonnes, necessitating imports of 5,000 tonnes of raw silk and 4,000 tonnes of silk fabrics from China.
Reacting to a query if huge import of silk from China is affecting the local handloom weavers in the country, Kumar said that India has fabulous variety.
He also said that Union Government is supporting modern technology of producing of silk and yarn in North East region.
“The Centre is granting around Rs 7 crore to set up a modern drilling machine,” he said.
Assam’s silk to be linked with peace and Gandhi
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday sought linking of Assam’s potential eri silk with “peace” and Mahatma Gandhi in an attempt to market it to international buyers. “Eri Silk can be linked to as ‘peace silk’ from the land of the Mahatma,” she said while addressing the first investors’ summit for textile industries here.
Irani said these icons will be ideal for marketing and the idea can be of huge potential and the industries can find strength in it. Irani’s suggestion is in line with Assam Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patwary who said that Mahatma Gandhi was “amazed’ at the beautiful patterns by the Assam weavers.
“Gandhi wrote in praise that every Assamese woman is a born weaver and she weaves fairy tales in her clothes,” he said.
Muga is famous for its shining golden colour and high tensile strength while eri is known to the world as the non-violent and peace silk and has the same thermal insulation as that of wool, Patwary added.
Assam boasts of producing 48 per cent of the total looms of the country which is about 11.11 lakh and directly and indirectly employing 25 lakh people, according to the loom census 2009.
Assam produces 2400 MT of eri silk and 126 MT of Muga silk, constituting about 70 and 98 per cent respectively, of the country’s production every yea