IMPHAL, June 4: The commerce and industry minister, Y. Irabot Singh stated that the department of handloom and handicraft is likely to introduce modern mechanized system of production in order to meet the growing demand of handloom and handicraft products of the state all over the world.The minister who was attending an award distribution function of outstanding craftpersons and subsidies under the schemes of modernization of handicrafts and assistance to individual artisans held today at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen also stated that despite huge demands of quality products of handloom and handicrafts products of the state, the massive global demand could not be met owing to the slow hand woven process.But the department is likely to introduce modern mechanized forms of production to assist the present demand for surplus production, said the minister adding the handloom and handicraft products of the state are in high demand all over the world and that handllom products of the state are regarded as No.1 in the country.Further speaking as the chief guest of the function, he also stated that lack of raw material in abundance is another factor which has is a hindrance to massive production of the handicrafts and handloom products, for which the minister has observed the need of coordination among the different related departments to overcome the bottleneck of getting raw materials, which could be beneficial to the state economy too, the minister added.Further touching upon the silk found in the state, the minister maintained that the state sericulture department, in collaboration with a Japanese firm had implemented various projects in the state to develop the silk production in the state, however due to the law and order situation in the state, the Japanese firm had to leave the project mid-way.He further added that recognizing the importance and quality of the Manipuri silk, the government of India under the Special Plan Assistant (SPA) fund has earmarked a sum of Rs. 61.11 crores to develop the sericulture project including the new variety of silk.He also added that the kind of silk which is golden in colour and which is in high demand around the world is found in the state. However he also added that both the golden colour silk and the local simple silk are both in high demand globally. The minister further added that the government is planning to established a silkyard at Loitang khunou.Sukumar Haobam a senior design consultant, while speaking as guest of honour stressed the need to encourage self employment programme among unemployed youths in the absence of employment opportunities.Further S Birendra Singh, functional manager, Handicrafs, commerce and Industry deft, stated that once a craftsman wins state award, he/she is eligible to implement the scheme of Guru Sishya parampara under office of the dv. Com (H) govt of India.He also stated that As many as 188 numbers of outstanding Crafts persons have won the state Awards in the state while 17 crafts-persons could get the National Awards and 13 Crafts-persons got National Merit Awards till date.The state awards have been implemented in the state since 1979-80, in order to promote and push the morals of the Craftspersons.During the function 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2009-10 while another 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2010-11. the award for the 2009-10 carried a citation and Rs 10,000 each while that of the 2010-11 carried as citation and a sum of Rs. 15, 000 each.