Handloom exports may rise by 30 per cent: Minister

HYDERABAD: Handloom products exports may increase by 30 per cent in the current financial year, Minister of State for Textiles, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Panabaka Lakshmi, said here today. 

She made the statement during a panel discussion on 'Boosting Market Linkages in the Handloom Sector', organised by the
Assocham Ladies' League, adding that handloom exports had touched USD 156 million last year. 

The 
handloom sector, she said, accounted for a share of 19 per cent of the total cloth produced in the country and is the second largest employment provider after agriculture, employing more than 65 lakh weavers and workers. 

As foreign buyers get attracted to traditional designs and vibrant colours of the fabrics of the country, weavers should capitalise on the trend, she said. 

The Centre is willing to provide financial support to states setting up common facility centres at 
handloom clusters, she said. 

Currently, India had about 612 handloom clusters, she said.