CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalaltihaa on Tuesday made a slew of announcements to improve the socio-economic position of the weavers and sericulturists in the State. Making a statement under Rule 110 in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said farmers cultivating mulberry in Tamil Nadu would get a grant of Rs 6,750 per acre from now on as against Rs 4,125 they were getting. Jayalalithaa said by increasing the annual subsidy, the sericulturists would get a maximum grant of Rs 16,875 per hectare. During the current year, the farmers have cultivated mulberry on 5,000 acres and would get lump sum of
Rs 3.37 crore as grant.
Further, to help the sericulturists increase their production using modern equipment, the present grant of Rs 30,000 would be increased to Rs 37,500.
Through this measure, as many as 1,200 farmers engaged in sericulture would get a grant of Rs 4.5 crore. Using this assistance from the Tamil Nadu government, the sericulturists can net a profit of Rs 1 lakh per hectare.
She said to encourage the habit of savings among weavers, the State government had been implementing the Cooperative Handloom Weavers’ Savings and Security Scheme, wherein, a weaver member in the Weavers Cooperative Society, contributed eight paise per rupee of wage earned and the government was contributing four paise per rupee of wage as its share, and the interest had been paid to the weavers for the entire sum.
Since the central government had stopped its contribution of four paise from 2007, the interest received by the weavers had come down and following representations from the weavers for the past five years, now the State government headed by her has decided to pay the Centre’s contribution of four paise too for the weavers.
This move would cost an additional expenditure of Rs 5 crore to the State exchequer and would benefit 76,051 handloom weavers.