India will be self-reliant in the production of silk by 2020, said the Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani in a media interaction today. The Union Cabinet’s decision approving the Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry will help increase the production of Bivoltine silk (high quality) by 62 percent by 2020. The Minister further said the aim of the government is to increase the number of people engaged in the silk sector from 85 lakhs to one crore in the next three years. She said, 50 thousand people will be trained in this sector. Smt. Irani told media that an inter- ministerial committee of related ministries will be set up under the Textiles Ministry to disburse a sum of Rs. 1000 crores for development of Research & Development.
Seed production units will be equipped and strengthened, besides increasing the production capacity to cater to the increased demand for silk in the future. Elaborating further the Minister said that under Digital India, web-based solutions will be provided to farmers engaged in seed production and other allied activities. Farmers and seed producers will get all subsidy by Direct Benefit Transfer.
The minister informed that market development is a very important area and 21 cocoon testing centres are being set up in the main silk producing states of the country. Apart from this, 19 basic silk seed farms, 20 silk worm seed production centres, 131 chawki rearing centres and 500 acres of land is being set aside for improved varieties.
Infrastructure development by individual farmers and silk producers will be financially supported by the Central Government which will bear 50% of the costs. For beneficiaries belonging to SC or ST category, the Centre will bear 65% of the cost. In case of beneficiaries from North East States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the Centre will bear 80% of the cost. A Helpline will be set up for timely redressal of grievances and all outreach programmes.
Smt. Irani informed that the State Governments have been urged to participate in implementing the Scheme as they have an important role to play in increasing the silk production of the country. The Minister said that out of 26 silk producing and consuming states, only 17 have a separate Department or Directorate of Sericulture.