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In celebration of handloom industry

Staff Reporter

Co-optex employees to get seven per cent hike in their dearness allowance

— Photo: S.Thanthoni

Clothed in Wonder: (From left) Information Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, Chennai Mayor M. Subramanian and Handlooms Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran feel the ‘Adhisayam’ saris on display at the National Handloom Exhibition that opened at Co-optex showroom in Egmore.

CHENNAI: Employees of Co-optex would get a seven per cent hike in the dearness allowance with effect from July 2008, Minister for Handlooms and Textiles K.K.S.S.R.Ramachandran said here on Friday.

Inaugurating the ‘Kaithari Kondattam,’ a 17-day National Handloom Exhibition, being organised by Co-optex at its showroom in Egmore, he said apart from the hike in the DA, 50 per cent of the dearness allowance would be merged with the basic pay of the employees with effect from January 1, 2009. This would be in tune with what had been done for the State Government employees.

As a result, Co-optex employees’ monthly salaries would increase from Rs.700 to Rs.3,000. For Co-optex, it would mean an additional annual expenditure of Rs.2.15 crore.

On the handloom industry in Tamil Nadu, Mr.Ramachandran said it had improved its style of weaving and designing in tune with the changing tastes of people and was on par with the private sector.

He said of the 120 stalls showcasing textiles from different States at the national handloom exhibition nearly 80 were from Tamil Nadu.

The organisers expected the exhibition to generate a sale of Rs.5 crore this year. ‘Semmozhi’ sari, a new variety of silk handloom with all the Tamil alphabets woven into it, was launched at the exhibition by Information Minister Parithi Illamvazhuthi. Commending the initiative of the handloom sector, he said the exhibition featured rare types of handlooms from other states as well.

On display are textiles priced from Rs.200 to Rs.1.64 lakh.

Mayor M.Subramanian said that the Chennai Corporation had procured nearly Rs.1.5 crore worth clothes from Co-optex for its various schemes.

Special Officer and Managing Director of Co-optex R. Jaya said besides choosing from the wide range of handlooms showcased at the exhibition, people may also enrich their knowledge about handlooms and weaving by visiting various stalls.

Quiz contest

A quiz contest on handloom would be conducted as part of the exhibition. Nearly Rs.35 lakh worth welfare assistance was also distributed to weavers on the occasion.

Secretary to the Department of Handlooms Viswanath Shegaonkar and other officials of the department participated in the function.

Demonstrations on weaving techniques, sari painting and cultural programmes would be conducted as part of the fair, which would be on till March 15.

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