MINISTER FOR TEXTILES
GIVEN THE TEXTILES PORTFOLIO in the last cabinet reshuffle, Smriti Irani has done her utmost to keep it in the news. The Twitter-happy minister, with her trademark sari and sindoor in place, has engaged with stakeholders and put in place several new schemes and policy changes over the past 10 months. The sector may be reeling under the burden of job cuts, poor exports (a 2 per cent decline last year itself) and outdated policies, but Irani has made it her mission to put Indian textiles back
on the world map and grow the sector.
Since she took over, Irani has been busy fine-tuning the all-important National Textile Policy which is likely to be finalised soon. She also initiated the #ILoveHandloom campaign on Twitter, setting it off with a tweeted picture of herself in a handloom sari (it got 510,000 impressions). There’s also PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme which has given the powerloom sector several subsidies, provides benefits under the Mudra Yarn Banking Scheme and has also set up yarn banks for the 4.4 million small powerloom workers.