Rasulpur: Even as the state government has sanctioned a bailout package worth Rs15 crore for weavers associated with Boyanika, the latter has not purchased clothes from them and is accused of meting out preferential treatment to them, a report said.
The complaints against Boyanika have come from weavers in Rasulpur block of Jajpur district and their counterparts in Bargarh, Cuttack, Sonepur, Ganjam, Sambalpur, Khurda and Koraput districts. As a result, weavers in these regions have been pushed into distress sale of their products due to lack of support from the government.
The state owned Odisha State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd (OSHWCS) popularly known as Boyanika acts as an intermediary in providing marketing support and quality raw materials to scores of weavers in the state. The weavers function under primary weavers cooperative societies and produe quality handwoven fabrics.
However, the members of the Odisha Weavers Federation have alleged that Boyanika is spending the fund in buying clothes from its chosen manufacturer rather than purchasing from them.
They further alleged there is no transparency in buying of clothes and held its general manager responsible for the problem. This has seriously hit their business as they urged the state government to conduct a probe and alleviate their problem.
The members alleged that Boyanika has formed a committee to purchase clothes from the weavers. Three senior officials in charge of this committee buy clothes from private business houses instead of primary societies formed by the weavers, alleged Sukanti Meher, a national award winner weaver and vice president of Odisha Weavers Federation from Bargarh district.
She said the committee has purchased clothes of around Rs 70 lakh from two agencies in her own district instead from local weavers.
Pitambar Soor, president of Gokarneswar Weavers Cooperative Society from Gopalpur weaver village under this block in Jajpur, claimed that the state body was making preferential treatment in buying clothes. As a result, the clothes manufactured by them are left unsold, he said.
Prabhat Mohanty, secretary of Krushnadaspur cooperative society said he has been contacting Boyanika for a year to sell clothes manufactured by weavers in his society. However, Boyanika has refused to listen to them.
They have lodged complaints with the secretary and director of the handloom and textile department but their pleas are yet to be addressed. He alleged that lakhs of rupees have been lying idle in the ‘Akshayakosh’ bank accounts of primary societies but the money is not being spent in raising infrastructure.
When contacted, Mili Samantray, general manager of Boyanika, termed the allegations baseless while denying any wrongdoing. She said the government has fixed some parameters to purchase clothes. Moreover, advice of expert team is also taken before buying clothes from weavers, she added.