Just 10 days before National Handloom Day, Govt. abolishes All India Handloom Board

The reason cited for the same was, 'Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.'

Credit : Indie Journal

Just about ten days before India would celebrate the National Handloom Day on August 7, the Ministry of Textiles, on July 27, released a notification to abolish the All India Handloom Board (AIHB). The circular has been signed by Sanjay Rastogi, Development Commissioner for Handlooms.

The reason cited for the same by the Government in its notification was 'Government of India’s Minimum Government and Maximum Governance, a leaner Government Machinery and the need for systematic rationalisation of Government bodies.' Several in the industry, as well as the general public, have criticised this decision quietly made by the government, asking how ‘Make in India’ and promotion of Khadi and other handlooms was possible with the Board representing the artistes abolished.



“All these years on, it remained the one official forum, however, watered down, where the voices and views of weavers and craftspeople could be expressed directly. One place where representatives of the sector were present in considerable numbers and were actually empowered to advise the Government in policy and sectoral spending,” designer and craft activist Laila Tyabji, who is also the Chairperson of Delhi-based NGO Dastkar, wrote on Facebook.

Several have also taken to the microblogging platform Twitter, asking the Ministry if this is a gift on the occasion of the National Handloom Day. However, Twitteratis have also questioned why the abolition of the Board has not found any space for coverage in the mainstream media.

In her heartfelt post, Tyabji further said, “The spaces where people themselves can interact directly with Government, or be part of their own governance, are certainly becoming leaner and increasingly few in number. It is worrying.”

She ended her post stating that the industry will “miss that wealth of collective wisdom at a time when craftspeople and the sector are struggling for survival and imaginative solutions.”


As per the Ministry of Textiles website, the All India Handloom Board was constituted on January 23rd, 1992 with the aim to advise the Government in formulating policy for the overall development of the handloom sector. The Board was under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of Textiles with official members from the Central and State Governments and non-official members from the handloom industry. Thereafter, the All India Handloom Board has been reconstituted from time to time.