Assam government has decided to stop import of ‘Gamocha’ (cotton towels used at homes) manufactured in Bangalore and Chennai to give a fillip to local entrepreneurs.

“We have stopped importing gamochas from outside including Chennai and Bangalore and this has been approved by an act by the government cabinet sub committee,” Cultural Affairs Minister Pranati Phukan said.

Weavers in the state produced nearly two lakh gamochas annually with state grant of Rs 1 crore but cheap imports from Chennai and Bangalore have hampered the sale of local products.

The state’s handloom sector employs more than 25 lakh weavers and allied workers and is second only to the agricultural sector in terms of providing employment, she said.

“Under the Chief Minister’s Assam Vikash Yojana we are providing quality yarn to weavers at a cost of Rs eight crore annually which are helping the local youths,” she said.

The minister said in a bid to help silk farmers, a cocoon bank has been set up at Boko near here where farmers can deposit their cocoons.

The influential All Assam Students Union (AASU) have criticised the import of gamochas from outside the state.

(This article was published on December 8, 2012)
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