Limestone deposits in Ukhrul and Chandel detected

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IMPHAL, July 11: The Geology and Mining Division of the department has located approximately 51.2452 million tons of limestone in the districts of Ukhrul and Chandel and the total reserves estimated so far for Chromites is approximately 3,21,212 matric tones.

This was acknowledged by officials of the state department of Commerce & Industries during today’s press conference of department heads at DIPR.

From natural resource of minerals available in the state, the department has realised revenue of Rs 1,10,97,355 for the financial year 2013-14 as application fee for Prospecting License (PL) / Mining Lease (ML); and annual fee for Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) which have already been granted to M/S Jubilant Oil & Gas Pvt. Ltd, the officials observed.

It was also informed that the M/S Jubilant Oil & Gas Pvt Ltd is continuing with oil exploration in the state in the districts of Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Jiribam in Imphal East.

It may be mentioned that the department of Commerce & Industries has various sub heads under it including Handloom, Handicraft, Micro Small & Medium Enterprises, Trade & Commerce and Geology & Mining Division.

According to a statement handed out to media persons at the start of the press conference by the department officials, handloom is the most important and fast growing cottage industry in Manipur.

The handloom census of 2009-10 reported that Manipur has 2.04 lacs handloom workers and 1.9 lakh looms having highest concentrated of weavers and possession of loom in the country, it said.

Handloom has provided many facilities to the public benefitting in many ways via margin money, skill up-gradation, common facility centre, work-shed, group work shed with solar home light, from yarn depot, Panthoibi Arcade, Powerloom &Allied Service centre, GI registration Act 1999, credit facility, recapitalization of society and in many other ways, it said.

With the initiative of the DIC to incorporate 201 semi automatic powerlooms in the state, the department is going to start training with powerlooms locally manufactured in Bishnupur along the existing shuttleless looms and two powerlooms from August at Powerloom & Allied service Centre, Takyel, it said.

This locally made powerlooms can be run even on an inverter, it said.

The centre was launched by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on June 6, 2014 at the cost of Rs 94 lakh funded fully by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India

Additional director Commerce & Industries N Radhacharan Singh said there is a danger of handloom becoming obsolete with the introduction of powerlooms, but the department has introduced the Reservation Act to protect handloom products.

He elaborated products like phanek (traditional wrap around), traditional saree like ‘wanghei phee’ comes under the Act and any powerloom producing such items will be punished according to the law.

Additional director M Rajen Singh replying to a query on supply of school uniforms said the department with support from handloom weavers is ready to supply 1,50,000 phanek (wrap around) as uniforms for 350 private schools which has already been agreed upon. He added the handicraft sector of the department has also promoted many artisans, and more than 500 outstanding craft persons have so far been given State Award during 2001 to 2015.

Not just this, but the state has also produced 21 national awardees and 17 merit awardees of handicraft which is the highest among the north eastern states, he added.

The department has also created a small departmental handicraft museum at Directorate HQ, he added.

Regarding the use of land for industrial use, an official said any factory should be constructed with the periphery of owned land, but 300 meters away from residential areas.

Department of commerce & industries will be settling up Industrial Estate at each 9 districts of the state under the financial assistance from Ministry of MSME and NEC, according to the officials.

For the development of Trade & Commerce, the department has constructed Trade Centres at Moreh town of Chandel District and Porompat of Imphal East District under EDF-NER with the cost of 100 lacs each. Integrated Trade Information & Stay Facility centre for traders has also competed construction at Moreh town under EDF-NER with the project cost of 370 lacs.

The department is also setting up Trade cum permanent exhibition complex occupying area of 20 acres at Lamboikhongnangkhong, Imphal West to showcase International festivals and trade fairs under the ASIDE scheme with the cost of Rs 1664.45 lakhs.

A Multi Storied Shopping Complex with cost of Rs 2171.80 lakhs have been completed at Moreh and was inaugurated by the Secretary (Commerce) government of India on January 24, the officials said.

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