Now, it is time for Vasthrabhagya

Another ‘bhagya’ (fortune) is in store for BPL families in the State. The latest is Vastrabhagya – providing clothes to the poor for festivals.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Textiles Minister Baburao Chinchansur said the government was working on the scheme of providing clothes either for free or at subsidised rates during festivals.

The concept is not new. The Yeddyurappa government had launched a scheme of providing free sarees to mothers of girl children, under the Bhagyalakshmi insurance scheme. When Ramakrishna Hegde was the chief minister, the government used to freely distribute Janata sarees and lungis to the poor .

Vastrabhagya scheme is being planned to cover all BPL families and is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 100 crore. The Tamil Nadu government has also launched a similar scheme. Chinchansur said the government was yet to decide whether to provide  clothes free of cost or at subsidised rates. Festivals for which clothes would be provided are also being discussed, he said.

Commissioner for Textile Development R Raju, who was present at the press conference, said the material for the clothes will be procured from various powerlooms, handlooms and textile co-operatives . There are 1.25 lakh working powerlooms, 75,000 handlooms and 1,000 textile co-operatives. Raju said two years since the launch of the New Textiles Policy, the State had attracted investment  of Rs 1,300 crore, providing employment to 50,000 people. The policy has set a target of attracting Rs 10,000 crore and employment to 10 lakh people by 2018. The government has provided Rs 200 crore incentives and concessions to textile industries in the last two years.

The government, through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board, has acquired 1,000 acres in Yadgir, 500 acres each in Chamarajanagar and Sira, for setting up textile parks. He said the government was likely to make some amendments to the textile policy to provide more concessions to industries to set up shop  in the wake of stiff competition from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

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