The government will cancel the plots allocated to Jamdani weavers in Narayanganj if they fail to set up handloom machinery on them for production, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said yesterday.
The unused plots will be redistributed to new weavers, Amu said at the inauguration ceremony of Jamdani Fair organised by the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).
The government developed 409 plots for Jamdani weavers at a total cost of Tk 5.86 crore at Tarabo in Narayanganj considering the sector's potential.
Of the 399 plots, 30 might be reallocated if the weavers fail to develop infrastructure on the plots by this month, said Nurul Islam, director of marketing of BSCIC.
A number of weavers though claimed the plots were allocated only among the influential people.
Jahangir Alam, proprietor of Jamdani Kutir Weaving Factory, said: “I did not get a plot -- they were allocated to influential people, who are not even involved in the Jamadani business.”
Islam, however, refutes the allegation. He said the BSCIC first conducted a survey to identify the “real” weavers and then assigned the plots to them. BSCIC organised the seven-day fair in the lead-up to Eid to promote the Jamdani wares, he said, adding that by cutting out the middlemen the fair will ensure a just price for the weavers.
Alam, who started his business with a capital of Tk 13.5 lakh, has set up a stall at the fair as it is a great opportunity for weavers to showcase their products.
“Product marketing is the main problem for weavers,” he said, adding that his company has exported 450 pieces of Jamdani to the US, Australia and India, worth Tk 15 lakh ahead of Eid.
Abul Kashem, proprietor of Julekha Jamdani Weaving Factory, said: “The fair is a marketing opportunity for me.”
The 75-year-old, who makes a profit of Tk 3 lakh a year, employs 35 at his factory.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said the Jamdani business has come a long way from a small cottage industry.
“Jamdani is the part of our heritage.”
The quality of Jamdani should be developed with the help of a design centre of BSCIC and Karu Shilpa foundation of cultural affairs ministry, he said.
The fair, held at Bangladesh National Museum, will remain open from 9am to 4pm. A total of 20 weavers are showcasing their products across 37 stalls.