Hyderabad: Minister for Weavers’ Welfare and Textiles P Shankar Rao, who was caught on a wrong foot on the reported number of weavers who committed suicides from Dubbakka, Medak district while offering a package of Rs 25,000 to their families.
He however, realized his mistake and later said that 115 weavers’ suicide deaths were reported.
The Minister was also at the receiving end while giving this information, as confusion prevailed over the announcement of the said package at the press meeting at the Secretariat on Thursday.
The scribe’s attending Dr Shankar Rao’s press conferences were left exasperated as there was no clarity in what the Minister was trying to explain.
It took quite some time to discern that the government was ready to offer the cited package to any weaver’s family in any part of the state if their suicides were proved/certified by the Revenue and police officials in the district.
Dr Shankar Rao also announced later that the Centre has earmarked Rs 387 crore special package for state weavers.
He also clarified to dispel doubts that government relief to the weavers was not available. Any suicide must be brought to the notice of the MRO.
The government has also decided to waive all professional loans (not personal loans) availed by the weavers in the state.
Earlier Rs 109 crore was spent towards loan waiver. Weavers were availing 11 types of loans like DRDA, IRDP, Working Capital loans. Besides this, loans will be provided under three other categories– Artisan Credit Card, PRRY and Rajiv Shrama Shakthi to genuine wavers.
It was said that fake weavers and fake societies had come up to claim amount and after sufficient warning and appeals to them including the weavers’ societies. Out of 1247 societies as many as 803 weavers’ societies withdrew from the waiver claim.
Further the district Collectors were told to send the reports on weavers’ loans and the Minister was ready to release funds after the report is submitted within a week.
So far, 50000 families gained through the loan waiver, Dr Shankar Rao said.
Each family availed Rs 25000 to Rs 50000, he disclosed.
The Minister clarified that the suicides that took place will not be repeated and steps would be initiated to meet their ‘genuine’ demand of waiving loans.
Asked about the power looms, it was made clear that they would also be provided ex gratia if formal representations are made to the Chief Minister.
The NABARD is also expected to spend Rs 300 crore for the handloom weavers located in the state, the Minister revealed.(INN)