Manipur CM N Biren Singh during the inauguration of MANITEX, Manipur International Textile Expo at the Urban Haat Nilakuthi in Imphal

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said financial assistance through direct transfer will be distributed to around 15,450 handloom weavers and boatmen with a total outlay of around Rs 23.48 crore.

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He was speaking during the inauguration of MANITEX, Manipur International Textile Expo at the Urban Haat Nilakuthi in Imphal on November 5. The Expo will continue till November 14.

The chief minister also launched the Mega handloom cluster of Imphal East, laid the foundation of Craft Handloom Village, Moirang and distributed financial assistance to weavers with Aadhar-linked bank account numbers through DBT under the national handloom development programme.

Beneficiaries of different schemes received funds directly transferred to their accounts, Biren Singh said, highlighting that funds are transferred directly to farmers, weavers, old age pensioners and scheme beneficiaries among others under different schemes.

Biren Singh acknowledged womenfolk’s contribution to the state’s economy.

“Our people have the potential, talents and especially womenfolk are courageous and brave,” he said, further highlighting the respect and popularity the state’s Ima Keithels (women’s market) have garnered in national and international platforms.

Considering that some businessmen are trying to monopolize the yarn business, the government has decided to establish a wholesaler of yarn at Ima Keithel so that weavers can get them at a cheaper price, he highlighted.

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The chief minister stated that considering instances of mass production of traditional cloths like the khudei, phanek and enaphi among others by using machines outside the state which are made available at a cheaper price to control the market, shops and business houses have been instructed that such traditional items which are handmade should not be replaced by machine-made copies.

Biren Singh highlighted the developmental changes witnessed in Manipur and said we have left behind the days of unrest, and disturbances.

There is peace and a feeling of oneness and sharing among the people of the state, today, the chief minister stated.

There are no differences, gaps between the people anymore, Biren Singh said. He also asserted the need for politicians to be transparent and sincere.

Highlighting the multiple venues for the upcoming Sangai Festival, Biren Singh encouraged the people to witness the extravaganza and said people can visit the venues freely after November 15.

The CM also highlighted the government’s target to provide 100 percent drinking water pipelines to all households in Manipur.

Power, forest, environment and agriculture minister Th Biswajit Singh said MANITEX was upgraded to International Textile Expo from being a national and regional level expo from 2018 onwards with the main objective of promoting the weavers and their products on the international platform.

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Manipur’s weavers have huge potential, the minister said, adding that, according to the 2019-20 National Handloom Census Report the state had 2.12 lakh handloom weavers, 2.11 lakh looms and 2 lakh handicraft artisans.

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