The textile ministry has asked all ministries as well as departments and public sector undertakings (PSUs) to buy their textile and fabric requirements locally, a move that is expected to boost earnings of artisans in the country.
In a May 15 letter, the textile ministry asked all ministries to give “purchase preference” to local content in the textile sector under the ‘Make in India’ scheme. This order seems to be on the lines of a diktat on flying, where government mandates its officials to fly state-owned Air India for official trips.
The Make in India programme seeks to ensure growth of the manufacturing sector and, thus, create jobs. Though the programme did not achieve the desired result in its initial years, it is expected to in the future.
The textile industry accounts for 2% of India’s GDP (gross domestic product) and 15% of the country’s export earnings. The textile sector, with over 45 million people employed directly, is one of the biggest employment generators in the country.
The textile ministry has also asked ministries to furnish details on “how much of nonlocal content do the government and departments buy from textile sector”, a government official said on condition of anonymity.
The ministries will now ask the departments and PSUs to share their total expense on local and non-local buys with respect to the textile sector.
“We do not think any company keeps a break up of textile or garments or other related things bought from local and non-local sectors. But we will ask them to share as much details as possible,” said the official quoted above.
A senior PSU official, who did not want to be identified, said every government company, one way or the other, promotes local artisans.
“Government companies promote art, culture as well as artisans by buying directly from them. I do not understand what more can a PSU do to ensure that local artisans are given preference in purchase,” said the official.
Government companies like Air India promote local artisans by providing Khadi’s utility kit to business class passengers on their flight. While the Airports Authority of India also promotes local artisans in various ways, it is also planning to promote local culture at upcoming airports.