HUBLI: Veteran journalist Patil Puttappa has criticised the Union government for neglecting the Khadi sector in its budget despite making tall promises, while the plight of the Khadi weavers has gone unheard.
Speaking to media persons here on Sunday, Puttappa stated that the problems of the weavers have been brought to the notice of Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi, and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee prior to the budget, while they made big promises in the budget.
“But, none of the promises made were realised in the budget,” he regretted. He stated that the Union government has granted a Rs 3.5 crore package for weavers.
A similar package should be extended to Khadi weavers, he demanded.
However, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, for the first time in the history of state budget, has granted a package of Rs 7 crore to Khadi sector, including Rs 1 crore assistance to the lone national flag manufacturing unit in Hubli.
Puttappa also pointed out that the Khadi Sanghas had reduced from 300 to a mere 160 across the nation.
These Sanghas were supporting as many as 32,000 families and 14 lakh people were making a livelihood through these Sanghas.
“Workers engaged in handloom stand are around 9 lakh and there is a need to revive the Sanghas and also bring weavers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to ensure stability,” he added.
A proposal in this regard has been submitted to Union Minister of Micro Small and Medium Industries Virabhadra Singh who has responded positively to a delegation that met him, he informed.
If this is not brought into effect within a month, they will be leading another delegation urging for the same, he added.