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Budget gives thrust to handicrafts, ELS cotton

Coimbatore, February 1, 2023 

Government proposes a cluster-based and value chain approach through public private partnerships

Production of Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, which is largely imported now, is all set to get an impetus as the government proposes a cluster-based and value chain approach through public private partnerships.

The Union Budget is looking at better collaboration between farmers, State, and industry for input supplies, extension services and market linkages to increase ELS cotton productivity. An official of the Ministry added that ELS cotton now had separate HS code.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said in the Budget speech on Wednesday that traditional artisans and craftspeople, who work with their hands using tools, were generally referred to as Vishwakarma. “The art and handicraft created by them represents the true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat. For the first time, a package of assistance for them has been conceptualised.” The new scheme would enable the artisans to improve the quality, scale up, and integrate with the MSME value chain. The components of the scheme would include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques, brand promotion, etc., she said.

For the textiles and apparel sector, the Budget proposes allocation of ₹ 900 crores for Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) for 2023-2024 as against ₹650 crores for 2022-2023. This will be to settle subsidy claims registered under ATUFS till March 31, 2022 and liabilities of previous versions of Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme. There would be no new sanction during 2023-2024, said officials in the Ministry.

Further, ₹220 crores will be allocated next financial year towards settlement of committed liabilities of National Textile Corporation and British India Corporation.

The total allocation for the Ministry of Textiles will be ₹4,389.34 crores compared to ₹3,579.61 crores for the current fiscal.

[The Hindu]

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