A 15-day long National Handloom Expo 2019-2020 kicked off in Imphal on Thursday. Manipur Trade, Commerce & Industry Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh inaugurated the event at Urban Haat, Nilakuthi, Imphal East district. The expo, having 30 stalls displaying handloom and handicraft products, is organised by the Manipur Apex Handloom Weavers & Handicrafts Artisans CS. Ltd., Paona Bazar, Imphal under the sponsorship of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, New Delhi.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the expo, Biswajit said that the articles listed under the Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985 for exclusive production by handloom is reserved for handlooms.
The minister also emphasised on the importance of preserving age-old traditions and culture in bringing development to our society. He observed that the loom is not only an integral part of our tradition in both the hills and valley, but is also an important source of livelihood for many people in the state.
He continued that we can enhance industrialisation in many sectors including handloom and handicrafts, tourism, medical among others. Only when these industrial sectors are enhanced, we can bring development into our society. Industrialisation will also mean that our finished products will reach the global market, and it is therefore important to produce standardised and value added products, he added.
He said artisans, craftsmen and weavers of the State can avail capacity building trainings under Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans & Craftsmen (MEETAC).
Biswajit said that no society, or region can achieve their goal without industrialisation, and further explained that industrialisation is a major factor in bringing economic progress to a society.
“Our State has a vast pool of God-given resources, but we should also understand that human resource is vital for growth, because it is through human resource that we will be able to utilise and harness all available resources,” the minister said.
The minister also observed that transportation is a major aspect of development and that the present government is committed in improving the transportation sector including land and waterways transportation.