Chief Minister N Biren Singh said instruction have been issued to business houses, shops stationed outside the state not to replace handmade traditional cloths and handicraft items of Manipur with machine made copies.
The chief minister stated this during the inaugural function of the Manipur International Textile Expo (MANITEX) 2022 on Saturday at Urban Haat Nilakuthi.
“Considering instances of mass production of traditional cloths like the Khudei, Phanek, Enaphi, etc, by using machines outside the state which are made available at a cheaper price to control the market, shops and business houses have been instructed that such traditional items which are handmade should not be replaced by machine made copies,” Biren said.
The Expo, which will continue till November 14, 2022 was organised by the Directorate of Handlooms & Textiles. During the inaugural, the chief minister also launched ‘Mega handloom Cluster of Imphal East’, laid foundation of Craft Handloom Village, Moirang and distributed financial assistance to weavers with Aadhar Linked bank Account Numbers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under the National Handloom Development Programme.
The chief minister during inaugural speech acknowledged womenfolk’s contribution in the state’s economy.
“Our people have the potential, talents and especially womenfolk are courageous and brave” said Biren.
And he highlighted the respect and popularity the state’s Ima Keithels have garnered in national and international platforms. Considering that some businessmen are trying to monopolize the yarn business, the government has decided to establish a wholesaler of yarn at Ima Keithel so that weavers can get them at cheaper price, Biren informed.
Biren also said that the financial assistance through DBT had been distributed to around 15,450 handloom weavers and boatmen with a total outlay of around Rs. 23.4815 crore. He said that the beneficiaries of different schemes received funds directly transferred to their accounts, the funds are transferred directly to farmers, weavers, old age pensioners, scheme beneficiaries, etc. under different schemes.
Biren further said that considering instances of mass production of traditional cloths like the Khudei, Phanek, Enaphi, etc, by using machines outside the state which are made available at a cheaper price to control the market, shops and business houses have been instructed that such traditional items which are handmade should not be replaced by machine made copies.
He highlighted the changes witnessed in the state in development and said we have left behind the days of unrest, disturbances. There is peace and a feeling of oneness and sharing among the people of the state, he added.
“Politician should be transparent and sincere, or else there will be no peace and harmony in the state”, said Biren.
Taking advantage of the programme, Biren informed about the Sangai festival that the multiple venues are setting up for the upcoming Sangai Festival and encouraged the people to witness the extravaganza, and to visit the venues freely after November 15.
He highlighted the government’s target to provide 100 percent drinking water pipelines to all households in the state. He told the media to report those other development work done by the government, not only those areas who don’t get water supply. He even said that those areas that are not getting water supply are due to their MLA.
Textiles, Commerce & Industry minister Nemcha Kipgen said MANITEX has the main objective of showcasing the state’s handlooms, handicrafts, dyeing & printing, power loom, garment, embroidery and costume to the outside world. The Expo will also have a Fashion Parade, she said. This year, the Expo has 274 stalls including local weavers, artisans, entrepreneurs, local private companies, national level organizations, international stalls from Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar, food court, state government departments, etc.
Power minister Th Biswajit said MANITEX was upgraded to International Textile Expo from being a national and regional level expo from 2018 onwards with the main objective of promoting the weavers and their products on the international platform. The state’s weavers have the huge potential, the minister said, adding that, according to the 2019-20 National Handloom Census report the state had 2.12 lakh handloom weavers, 2.11 lakh looms and 2 lakh handicraft artisans.
The inaugural function was also attended by minister CAF & PD, PHED, L Susindro Meitei; Transport minister Kashim Vashum; Manipur Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd chairman, Kh Ibomcha; Khundrakpam MLA Th Lokeshwar Singh; Moirang MLA Thongam Shanti Singh; Kshetrigao MLA Sheikh Noorul Hassan; Irengbam Nalini Devi.
Many stalls that were temporarily constructed at the lower back side of Nilakuthi are vacant. There are about 114 stalls, only about 50 stalls have opened. Some stall’s women said that the stalls constructed like hut in V shape are uncomfortable, unable to set items properly, very small and no place to seat.
Women also informed that some stalls were opened in the morning before inaugural but went back due to inadequate and uncomfortable stalls. Women also said that they paid 5000 per stall, but the stall has no place to keep all items properly.
“Stall is very small, I brought a Paomei dress and items from Paomei, Senapati district and now I think I should close and return home”, said a Paomei woman from Senapati.