Imphal: We are proud of our handloom and handicraft products, said Chief Minister N.Biren Singh attending the Manipur Heritage Expo, MoU Signing with Amazon Karigar and distribution of 2475 looms at City Convention Centre, Imphal Monday.
Speaking as the Chief Guest of the inaugural function, the Chief Minister thanked the Amazon team present at the inaugural function for acknowledging the importance and uniqueness of the State’s handloom and handicraft.
He said that it is indeed very fortunate for the State to have a platform under Amazon and the interest shown by Amazon to our handloom and handicraft products shows not only the uniqueness, but also the quality of our products.
N. Biren Singh also spoke on the importance of Geographical Indications (GI) and said it is indeed necessary to GI tag the traditional dresses, craft items of the State’s tribes.
He also appreciated the Department officials for their commitment and dedication. At the same time, there should be no compromise on quality, the Chief Minister said, further explaining the need for zero tolerance against corruption. He said today the State’s handloom and handicraft has a place in the world stage because of the hard work of our weavers and artisans.
He also urged the weavers to inform him if there were any defects on the looms distributed today.
Now that the Amazon platform is available, weavers will not face the lack of marketing space for their finished products, he said, adding that already 250 handloom and handicraft items have been uploaded on the e-marketing platform.
The Chief Minister further expressed the need to preserve and encourage our handicraft and traditional items. He appreciated the skill, talents of the people of the State and expressed pride in being a Manipuri and an Indian.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taught us a good lesson on self-reliance, he said adding that the rural economy depends on those working from the ground level and that without improving rural economy, we cannot improve our State’s economy.
Further ensuring all assistance, the Chief Minister further wished the weavers and artisans success in their endeavours. Further stating that weavers and artisans can also seek financial assistance under the Start-up Scheme, he informed that the budget for the Start-Up scheme has been increased to Rs. 100 crore from this financial year.
Minister Nemcha Kipgen said that the expo will provide a platform to showcase the handloom and handicraft products of the State before the world.
Today, our handloom and handicraft is known internationally, she said, adding that according to the National handloom Census Report, 2019, Manipur has around 2.12 lakh handloom weavers, around 2.11 lakh looms and around 2 lakh handicraft artisans.
Our handloom and handicraft has helped in generating employment as well as income in our society, she added.
In his welcome address, Additional Chief Secretary P. Vaiphei said joining hands with Amazon is an appropriate step as online shopping and online delivery has become a forte of all entrepreneurship and this is where all our handloom weavers and handicraft artisans need to be promoted to.
The inaugural function was also attended by MLA, Lamsang AC S. Rajen Singh, MLA, Keirao AC L. Rameshwar Meetei, Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar and Secretary Michael Achom among others.
The MoU was signed between the Manipur Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation (MHHDC) Ltd. represented by Managing Director, MHHDC Ltd., E. Jeeten Singh and Amazon Sellers Private Ltd, represented by Udyay Mehta, Head, Public Policy (Ecommerce), Amazon.
MHHDC has already been tied up with Amazon since 2020 and was taking a key responsibility in providing an e-market platform for the State’s handloom and handicraft products during the COVID-19 pandemic through its own e-market platform called panthoibi.com.
Now, with the signing of the MoU, MHHDC will take a leading role for marketing the State handloom and handicraft products through Amazon.
It may be mentioned that 2475 fly-shuttle looms were also distributed to weavers from across the State under Upgradation of Loom Scheme as part of the ‘100 Action Points For First 100 Days’ of the new government. Dummy tokens for the looms were distributed to selected 16 weavers by the dignitaries during the inaugural function.