Union minister Piyush Goyal has announced a mega handloom cluster at Nongpok Kakching village in Imphal East district of Manipur, the native village of Tokyo Olympics Silver medallist, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, at a cost of Rs 30 crore to honour her feat.

The Union minister for textiles, commerce and industry and consumer affairs, food and public distribution, stated that a handloom craft village will also be set up at Moirang as a tribute to the Indian National Army (INA) fighters, who hoisted the Indian Tricolour for the first time on Indian soil during World War II.

He made these announcements while speaking at the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at City Convention Centre in Imphal on November 20.

Goyal congratulated the state government for making great strides in the handloom and handicraft sector in the past four and half years.

Stating that the country is yet to fully explore Manipur’s handloom and handicraft potential, the Union minister said that products of the state may have great demands at the global market. In this regard, Piyush Goyal assured that the Union ministry of textiles would extend all possible assistance in skill development, value addition, packaging, design, brand imaging, etc., if needed.

He suggested the chief minister to request the prime minister to the lay the foundation stone for the mega handloom cluster to be taken up at Nongpok Kakching under National Handloom Development Programme.

The Union minister mentioned the scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage of the state that has a great potential to attract a large number of tourists. He also mentioned the avenues which can be explored in horticulture, sericulture and other sectors in the state, stating that he wishes to attend the Kachai Lemon Festival.

Chief minister N Biren Singh said that Manipur’s handloom and handicraft products are unique and it has the potential to occupy a special place in the global market. He mentioned that Manipur has topped the list of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) business registration among the Northeast states.

The chief minister said that it is a matter of great pride that the state has many national awardees in the handloom and handicraft sector. The state government has also turned no stone unturned in getting GI tag for indigenous motives like Saphee Lanphee.

CM Biren Singh said that womenfolk are working hard in the state and they have contributed immensely in enhancing the state’s economy. He stated that the rural economy is growing fast in the state in the past four and half years. To strengthen this improvement further, the chief minister said, the state government is ever ready to help the artisans, weavers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs through startup and bank loans.

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