Promoting powerlooms (From an Editorial)

For several years now, the problem of introducing powerlooms to the large number of weavers in Tamil Nadu has been postponed, but the present Government has announced its determination to see the scheme through. It has been pushed in this direction by the yarn industry which now depends on distant markets for the sale of the bulk of the output from the spinning mills. Other States seem to have had no difficulty in introducing powerlooms many of which are in fact unlicensed. Tamil Nadu was given a quota of 12,500 powerlooms but this has remained unused. It is now proposed to use it in the co-operative sector, but the Industries Minister, Mr. Madhavan, has stated that at the same time protection will be given to the handlooms numbering about seven lakhs. The change-over is warranted, not only from the point of using the surplus yarn but from the point of view of the weavers themselves. Most of them make a poor living from the traditional loom and their earnings would go up sharply if they used electric power. It should be added, however, even with the growth of the powerloom, there will still be a place for a number of handloom weavers whose products could be exported or sold as semi-luxury items within the country.

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