The Union government on 1 April 2017 launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for the development of the powerloom sector.
The scheme was launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani through a video conference at Bhiwandi in Thane district, Maharashtra with a simultaneous launch in 45 other locations across the country including Surat, Erode, Malegaon, Bengaluru, Varanasi and Bhagalpur.
• The scheme would especially benefit Maharastra and Tamil Nadu. It comprises new research and development in power loom textiles along with new markets, branding, subsidies and welfare schemes for the workers.
• It is meant to especially benefit the small power loom weavers. The powerloom sector alone employs over 44 lakh people.
• In all, it has nine components including In-situ up-gradation of Plain Powerlooms, Group Workshed Scheme (GWS), Common Facility Centre (CFC), Yarn Bank Scheme, Tex Venture Capital Fund, Grant-in-Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs).
• It also includes two new schemes, Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme (PMCS) for powerloom weavers and solar energy scheme (SEC) for powerlooms.
• Under PMCS for powerloom weavers, financial assistance, including subsidy and interest reimbursement, would be given as against the credit facility under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana to the decentralised power loom units.
• Under SEC for powerlooms, financial subsidy for the installation of the Solar Photo Voltaic Plants would be provided to alleviate the problems of power cuts.
• Besides this, the government would provide a subsidy of 50% to power loom units having maximum eight looms for adopting solar energy for captive use either on grid or off grid system.
Smriti Irani along with Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra also launched a PowerTex India helpline number on the occasion to provide any kind of assistance related to the scheme.