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Course: Expected Questions Geo-Mains Paper GS- 1 Presented by Ashna Sisodia
Question 49: It is reported that the government is planning to repeal the Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985. Examine why this act was enacted and what would be the consequences of repealing this act. (200 Words)
The handloom act, 1985 was started as a measure to protect the traditional handloom sector from power looms and mechanized sector. It provides for reservation of certain articles to be manufactured by handlooms only and it extends over the whole territory of India. In addition to this, Central Assistance is also given to state governments to set up an Enforcement Machinery in the state to ensure that there is no violation of the handlooms act. Consequences of repealing it: 1. The repealing will result in the unemployment of a large section of population engaged in it, as the sector will be overtaken by the mechanized sector 2. It is a symbol of our heritage and the repeal will make it prone to be lost forever. 3. People are more attracted towards the original handloom produced garments, which also reaps a large revenue for the govt, which will be lost on its repeal 4. It has a low carbon footprint, and the repeal will give an impetus to mechanised sector, which will further increase India's carbon footprint
However, there are certain contrary views to it, which support the amendment 1. Handlooms don't have economy of scale, so can't compete with modern industry 2. Handloom materials are costly 3. Labours in it are generally unorganized, which in power loom big industries will get more security Instead of repealing the act and crippling the sector, the govt needs to invest more so as to strengthen its base, while giving more incentives to the workers and encouraging even more innovation in the sector. The demand for handicrafts has only increased in recent times, and hence, obstructing the sector with such amendment would hamper a well grooming economic activity in the economy. In fact, with huge production revenues as well as high employability, this sector is one of the best contenders for the MAKE IN INDIA objective. It can be used by the country as a tool for cultural diplomacy, given there was a time in history when Indian handicrafts were one of the favorite among the global community.
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