The Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the first ever Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Meghalaya, near Ampati in South West Garo Hills. She was accompanied by the state’s chief minister Mukul Sangma in the presence of Union Minister of state for Home affairs Kiren Rijiju.
Dedicating the centre to the people of Ampati in particular and to the state as a whole, the minister said that the project was testimony to the true convergence of efforts of Central and State governments. She said that Centre will create employment opportunities for both men and women of the region, thereby empowering them economically.
Irani informed said her ministry is implementing projects worth Rs 70 crores in sericulture and weaving sectors for Meghalaya alone. The minister said that around Rs 32 crores has already been sanctioned for the state of Meghalaya, for promotion of handlooms. She appealed to the youngsters, particularly women, to leverage their handloom legacy and become enterprising entrepreneurs. As the region is well-known for regional dyes, the minister urged the weavers of the state to register with India Handloom Brand, which she said can directly connect the weavers with big multinational companies.
The sprawling Apparel and Garment Making Centre, covering an area of 45,000 sq. ft, has been set up at Hatisil near Ampati, at a cost of approximately Rs 14.26 crore under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) of the Ministry of Textiles. The centre has three units, two of them housing 105 sewing machines each and the third one having seventy machines.