In a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Assam government has decided to gift Khadi clothes to all government employees, state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on the Mahatma’s 148th birth anniversary.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has asked the Khadi Board to execute the plan, Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of a function on Monday.
“I think this will also help in reviving the dying Khadi Board. If the Board can execute this properly, we can also think of making school uniforms of Khadi cloth,” said Sarma.
The minister, however, said that there would not be any pressure on the employees to wear Khadi.
“We can give shirts to men and salwar to women employees. We are going to give coupons to the employees and they can get it from any of the stores of the Khadi Board.”
“We are not going to force them to wear the dress,” he said, adding that employees would wear the dress on their own as Khadi “looks so good”.
He said the gifts will hopefully be given to the employees before the Rongali Bihu in April.
There are four lakh employees under the state government and such a plan would cost the state exchequer more than Rs 12 crore.
Sarma said the government has already earmarked funds for the project in the budget.
Earlier, the state government had “expressed its willingness to let employees voluntarily wear traditional clothes on first and third Saturdays of every month”. The “desire” led to many employees donning the traditional look even as there was no any official communication making the move mandatory.