Textiles Minister Smriti Irani launched several initiatives, including an online portal, to facilitate purchase of jute bags from the industry by state procurement agencies with an overall aim to promote good governance.
Besides the portal Jute Smart, the Minister launched a dashboard for Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) hosted on the NIC cloud with access to the public and a helpline, Bunkar Mitra, for hand-holding of handloom weavers, the Ministry said in a statement.
It said Jute Smart seeks to provide an integrated platform for use by all stakeholders to allow easy access to information, more transparency and ease of doing business for the jute sector.
Annually, nearly Rs 5,500 crore worth of jute sacking is procured through the government to support jute workers and farmers.
The Ministry said the erstwhile system relied mostly on paper and there were bottlenecks in information sharing between the stakeholders, mainly state procurement agencies, the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution, jute mills, inspecting agency, loaders, consignees, pay and accounts office.
Further in pursuance to the efforts in bringing more transparency into the system, the information relating to the progress of ISDS, along with state-wise details of all live training programmes under the scheme, will be opened to public view through the Ministry’s website.
The Ministry is partnering with state government agencies, industry, major textile training institutions, textile research organizations and industry associations for implementing the scheme.
“Out of the 12th Plan target of 15 lakh persons under the scheme, the ministry has so far trained a total of 8.82 lakh persons,” it added.
It also said that currently 28 Weavers Service Centres (WSCs) are functioning across the country to provide technical assistance to handloom weavers in improving their skills.
For seeking assistance, weavers have to personally visit the WSCs. Till date, there is no single point of contact where weavers can seek solutions for their technical issues/problems.
“In order to enable poor weavers to overcome these problems, the government has decided to establish a Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre where professional queries of weavers will be answered by the experts in the field,” the Ministry said.
This helpline will function from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. and initially it will be provided in 6 languages – Hindi, English and four other regional ones (Telugu, Tamil, Bengali and Assamese).
Source: India Today
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