In what may further boost the economic prospects of artisans involved in making handloom, the Central Government has made the purchase of 20 per cent products of handloom origin from Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), and others including Weavers having Pehchan Cards, mandatory for Central Government departments. To effect this change, the Ministry of Finance has amended Rule 153 of the General Financial Rules (GFR) 2017.
The latest decision of the government is likely to benefit around 43.3 lakh handloom weavers and allied workers in the country. Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha had said last year, "As per 3rd handloom census, there are 43.31lakh handloom weavers and allied workers in the country, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra."
As per the previous rules, all items of hand-spun and hand-woven textiles (khadi goods) was reserved by the Central Government for "exclusive purchase" from KVIC. Rule 153 of GFR 2017 also "reserved all items of handloom textiles required by Central Government departments for exclusive purchase from KVIC and/or the notified handloom units of Association of Corporations and Apex societies of handlooms. These rules have been partially amended.
What the amended rule says
As per the amended rule, 20 per cent of the textiles required by Central government departments should be handloom product procured from KVIC, Weavers having Pehchan Card etc.
"The Central Government, through administrative instructions, has reserved all items of hand spun and hand-woven textiles (khadi goods) for exclusive purchase from Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Of all items of textiles required by Central Government departments, it shall be mandatory to make procurement of at least 20% from amongst items of handloom origin, for exclusive purchase from KVIC and/or Handloom Clusters such as Co-Operative Societies, Self Help Group (SHG) Federations, Joint Liability Group (JLG), Producer Companies (PC), Corporations etc.including Weavers having Pehchan Cards," said an Office Memorandum dated 17-02-2020 of the Department of Expenditure Procurement Policy Division (PPD).