Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday urged labourers working in the carpet industry to help fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of achieving an educated India by ensuring that their children receive higher education.
Addressing the India Carpet Expo organised by Carpet Export Promotion Council in Varanasi, she said the labourers who work in the carpet industry must educate their children.
Citing a 2009 data, she said only 1 per cent of children of weavers and craftsmen were able to receive higher education.
The Union government has made arrangements to provide 75 per cent fee for the education of children of poor artisans, who can avail the benefits by enrolling themselves in NIOS and IGNOU, she said, adding that the government wants to celebrate the strength and vibrancy of this industry.
The four-day expo was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi via a video link from Delhi.
The Union minister said the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre, where the expo is being organised, is one of the finest examples of “speed of governance” of the BJP government.
The centre was built in 23 months in Prime Minister Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency and was dedicated to the nation, she said.
Responding to a request from a member of Carpet Export Promotion Council to give the industry tax concessions, she said, “It seems you wrongly thought I am the finance minister.”
But, she added, the government was aware of the challenges the industry had to face in past and efforts were being made to solve those issues.