Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the possibility of setting up a textile cluster at Ponduru in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, would be explored.
''Ponduru Khaddar'' (khadi), as it is widely known, is one of the most-famous handloom brands of AP and is also widely known globally.
The Union Finance Minister took part in a programme in Ponduru on the occasion of National Handlooms Day.
"Ponduru khadi has international recognition but the weavers are unable to earn a remunerative price for their produce because of various reasons. I will speak to the Union Minister of Textiles and explore the possibility of establishing a textile cluster in Ponduru," Sitharaman said on the occasion.
She said several measures were required to enhance the brand value of Ponduru khadi, which was known for its superior quality and texture.
Sitharaman said the Nabard would extend loans to weavers to modernise their units.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to encouraging khadi in a big way and has initiated a slew of programmes for promoting the sector.
"Khadi productivity has doubled from Rs 9,000 crore between 2014 and 2021," she pointed out.
The Finance Minister visited the Andhra Fine Khadi Labour Development Association, inspected the weaving processes and interacted with the artisans.
She also inspected the khadi distillation system and laid the foundation stone for a new building.
On the occasion, she distributed cheques to beneficiaries under different schemes.
Deputy Chief Minister Dharmana Krishna Das, Assembly Speaker Tammineni Seetaram, state Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath, Rajya Sabha member G V L Narasimha Rao, Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu and others attended the event.
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