Imphal, December 19, 2017 (DIPR): Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Thongam Biswajit Singh inspected the Urban Haat at Nilakuthi, Imphal East next to Food Park today late evening. Minister expressed dismay over seeing the condition of the project lying incomplete for 6 years.

Urban Haat is a scheme of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and it aims to provide marketing access to weavers and artisans for showcasing their handloom and handicraft products for attracting the tourist in the state. Urban Haat, once completed will be a permanent fair centre for Crafts, food and cultural activities.

Addressing the media, Minister Th. Biswajit stated that Urban Haat was sanctioned by Government of India in 2011 with an estimate cost of Rs. 5 crore to felicitate and for providing a market for handloom and handicraft product. As per sanction letter, Rs.210.00 lakh were Central share and remaining Rs.300.00 lakh to be borne by Implementing Agency-MANIDCO (State Government undertakings).

Due to unavailability of loan from Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), the project was unable to complete. He further maintained that with due consultation with Chief Minister, the state government will take loan from RIDF and complete Urban Haat by March 2018 with an aim to provide benefits for all. It may be mentioned that the Centre will released another Rs. 78 lakhs after sending completion of the project report.

Minister also stated that more fund is needed for repairing connectivity of the Urban Haat with different parts of the state.

Urban Haat is being constructed by MANIDCO and it will be manage by Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Development Cooperation Limited. Urban Haat is equipped with 30 stalls and craftsman from various districts of the state who will be allowed to participate in roster basis for a period of 15 days each.

During the inspection, the minister was accompanied by Director Of Handloom and Handicraft Shri Lamlee Kamei, Chairman of Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Development Cooperation Limited, Shri S. Rajen and officials of MANIDCO.

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