India’s North-Eastern State of Assam would soon come out with a new handloom and textile policy to boost the sector, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said. Addressing a function in Guwahati to observe the third edition of the National Handloom Day on August 7, he said professional skills of weavers would be upgraded to face market challenges.

The State Government will support modernisation of weaving skills through the latest technology, Sonowal said. The first National Handloom Day, organised by the Union Ministry of textiles, was observed in Chennai and the second edition in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Taking stock of the problems faced by weavers in the state on the occasion, Union Minister of State for textiles Ajay Tamta said the Central Government has sanctioned Rs. 600 cr for promoting eri and muga silk in Assam. Assamese weavers comprise 65 per cent of total weavers in India.

The Textiles Ministry has entered into agreements with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) under which children of weavers can study in schools and universities with three-fourths of the fees being borne by the Central Government, Tamta added.