Panel slams lapses in corporation for handlooms

August 2nd, 2011 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) There is a high degree of mismanagement and lack of interest in carrying forward the work of North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corp (NEHHDC), a parliamentary panel Tuesday said and recommended that it should explore new markets.

The NEHHDC was set up in 1977 to safeguard interests of poor women in the handloom sector.

In its report submitted to the two houses Tuesday, the parliamentary standing committee on industry said that the NEHHDC, a government of India undertaking, had been incurring losses since its inception.

“The committee while interacting with officials of the NEHHDC noted that they were diffident in replying to queries of the members of the committee and even were not able to satisfactorily provide answers or clarifications on points raised by the members,” the report said.

The standing committee, headed by DMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva, has 31 members from the two houses.

“The committee tends to conclude that there is a high degree of mismanagement and lack of interest in carrying forward the work of the corporation,” the report added.

The report said that the NEHHDC was referred to Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) in December 2009 with a package for turnaround of the corporation.

The BRPSE recommended liquidation of the company in its present form and suggested its conversion from a commercial entity to a promotional body.

“The committee expresses its serious concern that the NEHHDC has not been restructured even after the report given by the BRPSE for making it a promotional body.”

“All concerned must pay serious attention to the revival of this important organisation which was set up to tap the enormous potential in the handloom and handicraft sector in the region… Till the corporation is revised and restructured full budgetary support should be extended by the ministry of development of north eastern region (DoNER),” the report said.

Supporting suggestions for improving efficiency of the NEHHDC, the committee said that huge interests on its loans may be waived off as an initial measure to help it come out of its “present pitiable condition”.

The report strongly recommended that “liquidation of the corporation may not be pursued and instead a chance may be given to it with adequate support from the MDONER to restructure its size to make it competitive and business oriented”.

The report said that the net worth of the company has always been negative but added that its turnover and gross trading profit had improved for three years from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Noting that the NEHHDC was quite inert to understanding the trend among youth and middle class of revived interest in handlooms and handicrafts, it recommended that the corporation and the MDONER “must prepare a strategy to enter new markets.”

The committee recommended that the corporation must explore markets in the eastern region of the country.

It said that every action of corporation’s management should be scrutinized and it must be held accountable for all acts of omission and commission.

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