Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who handles the textiles portfolio as an additional charge, found himself in a hot spot in the Lok Sabha when members criticised the government’s response to the plight of weavers in the country.
Congress MP PC Chacko said while the commerce minister had taken initiatives on FDI in retail, he should now concentrate on weavers. A visibly upset Sharma said the cabinet committee on economic affairs recently approved a Rs3,884-crore loan waiver package for the handloom sector. At this, BJP said that while there are over 43 lakh weavers as per the census, the scheme will help only 3 lakh of them.
Speaker Meira Kumar then allowed a discussion on this subject. Outside the House, Anand spoke to Chacko, who told the minister to be more “responsive”.