Chief minister Arjun Munda gives away a weavers’ credit card to Sumitra Kumari in Ranchi on Saturday. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, June 16: Jharkhand’s weavers who are at the heart of the state’s silken success will now have their own credit card, as chief minister Arjun Munda today launched a milestone scheme to further boost production.
Starting today, 100-odd women of Dumaria in East Singhbhum were also brought into the loop, with Munda inaugurating online four reeling and spinning centres in the Naxalite-hit block where 80 solar machines have already been installed by Jharcraft — the state government’s handicraft and silk corporation.
Armed with solar-powered reeling and spinning machines, the women can now look forward to earn between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 per month.
The government has also promised that the number of women would soon go up to 700 in East Singhbhum alone.
“To start with, 100 women will be weaving silk fibres from cocoon. They have already been trained for 15 days at Jharcraft’s Nagri centre in Ranchi. Twenty-one more centres will come up in East Singhbhum with employment for over 525 women in the same vocation. Similarly, 60 centres will be set up in nearby Seraikela-Kharsawan,” said Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar.
The solar powered reeling and spinning machine, called Samridhi, is the first-of-its-kind instrument in the country, developed by Jharcraft. Each machine costs around Rs 26,000. Jharcraft has been getting demands for it from other states, too.
The chief minister, lying in his motorised bed at his Kanke road residence, also launched the weaver’s credit card scheme in association with Dena Bank.
The card will have a credit limit of Rs 2 lakh. Initially, 5,000 such cards will be distributed to beneficiaries, while the number of weavers in Jharkhand exceeds 85,000.
Dena Bank general manager G.K. Singh said the weavers’ credit card was a first not only in Jharkhand but also in India. Under the scheme, weavers will need to pay around 7 per cent of the overall 11 to 12 per cent interest a year. The Centre and the state government would waive 3 and 2 per cent of the interest amount.
Flagging off the scheme, Munda handed over the credit cards to Shama Khatun and Sumitra Kumari, residents of Ichapirhi and Nagri villages, the first recipients.
State industry secretary A.P. Singh told The Telegraph the government aimed to extend credit of up to Rs 100 crore to weavers in Jharkhand and boost the sector with the new card scheme.
“We are also mulling options to rope in the weavers through group insurance schemes,” he added.
The beneficiaries of both Samridhi machines and weavers’ credit cards will also be promised assured markets to ensure their products find enough takers.
The industry secretary Singh, Jharcraft MD, Dena Bank general manager and Munda’s principal secretary D.K. Tiwary also attended the inaugural at the chief minister’s residence this noon.