The Assam government has decided to gift khadi clothes, worth Rs 12 crore, to its four lakh employees to promote the dying industry, but wearing them to office will not be mandatory, a senior state minister has said.
It expects the staff to wear the apparel on Gandhi Jayanti and other auspicious occasions, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
"Every government employee will be gifted a set of Khadi clothes. It will be shirts for men and either salwar kurta or saree for women. The khadi board has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing the clothes," he told reporters here yesterday on the sidelines of a meeting of the board on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Asked if wearing khadi clothes would be compulsory for the state government employees, the minister replied, "No. It will be good if they do. But we will not make wearing the apparel mandatory. The cloth is so good that people will wear the clothes voluntarily."
Sarma said a coupon will be provided by the government for receiving the gift and its collection by the employees will be compulsory.
"We hope they will wear the apparel during Gandhi jayanti and other such auspicious occasions," he said.
The minister said that no instruction will be issued to the employees asking them to wear khadi clothes regularly or on auspicious days.
"Budgetary provisions have been made for it. Each shirt, salwar kameez or saree will cost Rs 300 each. For the four lakh employees, the government will spend Rs 12 crore," he said.
Sarma hoped that the khadi board will be able to provide the shirts by 'Bohag Bihu' (the year end).
He said the staff, acter collecting the coupons, would have to go to the Khadi Bhandar to get the clothes.
The Khadi Bhandar, in turn, would submit the coupons to the government which would make the payment, he said.
"If this initiative is successful, then we will get school uniform also of khadi. But its depends on whether the Khadi board can supply the uniform. At present, they don't have so much capacity as the organisation is almost dying and our initiative is to revive it," Sarma said.
The minister said, "If the shirts are supplied by this year, then we can think of giving school uniform next year." In a statement, the Primary school Teachers' Assosciation, however, said that instead of giving clothes to government exployees, poor school children should provided uniform.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)