The Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta categorically said the textile and handicrafts sector is economically important from the point of low capital investment, high ratio of value addition, and high potential for export and foreign exchange earnings for India in New Delhi today.
The Minister was speaking at ASSOCHAM National Conference on Women in Textiles & Handicrafts Industry: Weaving the Threads of Livelihood.
Indian textile and handicrafts industry constitutes an important segment of the Indian economy as it is one of the largest employment generators after agriculture. The sector employs about 7 million people directly and indirectly, which include a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society, Tamta said.
Handloom & handicraft and women, both the terms have their individual identity and the fruitful amalgamation of both gives them a more meaningful identity. These industries are a major source of income for rural communities in general and for rural women in particular. Though a large number of female workforce, both urban and tribal, from all sections of the society are involved in appropriate returns for their efforts, said the Minister added.
The joint study released by ASSOCHAM-Resurgent on ‘Women in Textiles & Handicrafts Industry’ reveals that the market size of India’s textile market is expected to touch $250 billion in the next two years from the current level of $150 billion.
The textile sector in India accounts for 10% of the country’s manufacturing production, 5% of India’s GDP, and 13% of India’s exports earnings. Textile and apparel sector is the second largest employment provider in the country employing nearly 51 million people directly and 68 million people indirectly in 2015-16, adds the study.
It is estimated that out of the total number of persons employed in handlooms, handicrafts and sericulture, about 50% are women. There are more women in the household industry than in the registered small scale or cottage units. However, in the organised sector the percentage of women workers is extremely low, with the exception being garmenting.
Efforts are being made to restore glory of cottage based traditional sectors like handlooms, handicrafts, jute and wool through an integrated approach covering entire value chain.