For the first time in the country, Telangana Government has launched ‘Nethanna Ku Bima’ Scheme, which extends insurance coverage to handloom and powerloom weavers in the State.

Handlooms Minister KT Rama Rao virtually launched the scheme on the National Handloom Day here on Sunday and appealed to the Central Government to withdraw GST on handlooms as it was casting an adverse impact on the weavers and the entire sector.

Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi had launched Swadeshi Movement to promote handlooms. Unfortunately after 75 years of Independence, BJP Government was the first Government to levy GST on handlooms, he said. The decision to levy GST on handlooms sector should be withdrawn in the best interest of weavers across the country, he urged the Centre.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had introduced the Nethanna Ku Bima on par with Rythu Bima in a bid to instil confidence among the weavers.

The insurance coverage scheme, which was being implemented in association with LIC, would benefit 80,000 handloom and powerloom weavers in the State, the Minister said.

In case of natural or accidental death of a weaver, Rs. 5 lakh would be deposited into the nominees’ account within 10 days, he said.

Commemorating UNESCO’s world heritage site recognition to Ramappa Temple, the Minister said Rammappa sarees would be launched into the market shortly. The department has come up with Ramappa sarees, which are designed in a way to depict the beautiful sculptures of the temple.

Telangana Government has been supporting the weavers and the sector through different initiatives and schemes. The research and development wing of the department had revived the near extinct Telia Rumal, Armoor silk sarees, Siddipet Gollabhama Saress, and HIMRU sarees and presented them

before the present generation, he said.

Extending assistance to sector, the State Government has launched a few flagship programmes like ‘Chenetha Mithra’ ( Input subsidy linked wage compensation scheme), ‘Nethannaku Cheyutha’ (Telangana Handlooms weavers Thrift fund saving and security scheme), ‘Pavala Vaddi’ scheme, 20 percent Yarn subsidy scheme, Marketing Incentives and others, he explained.

Impressed with Telangana’s schemes, special teams from Odisha, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh had visited the State on study tours and examined the implementation of the schemes, the Minister said.

Further to motivate the weavers, the State Government has constitued Konda Laxman Bapuji Award in 2018. Apart from certification and felicitation, weavers are presented cash award, which has been increased to Rs.25,000 from Rs.10,000 since last year. This year, 28 weavers were presented with the award. Since inception of the award, 131 weavers have been selected and felicitated by the State Government, he added.

MLC L Ramana thanked the Chief Minister for launching yet another innovative and welfare scheme for weavers in the State.

In the past, obtaining insurance coverage used to be a challenge for weavers due to financial limitations but Telangana Government has launched the Nethanna Ku Bima Scheme to provide financial assistance to the weavers families in case of the breadwinners death, he said.

“No other State Government can boast of such a scheme for weavers. This proves Telangana’s commitment towards handlooms sector and weavers welfare,” said L Ramana.

As part of the National Handlooms Day, a special expo cum sale is being conducted at People’s Plaza. Over 100 stalls from different States have been set up at the expo.

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