Bangladesh Handloom Board

Bangladesh Handloom Board was established in January 1978 and managed by the ministry of defence to safeguard the interests of the marginal weavers. The board conducts many activities for the modernisation of handloom industries in the country. Its head office is situated in Dhaka, but it has units at different locations. A chairman, who is assisted by a secretary and four executive members, heads its management. The chairman, secretary and members are appointed on deputation from various ministries. They provide service in respective capacities. The chief registrar of the co-operative societies of Bangladesh, the chairman and the director of the Bangladesh Textile Corporation, the chairman of the Bangladesh Samabaya Shilpa Samiti, and a representative from the banking section of the Ministry of Finance are temporary members of the board. The board also consists of many permanent employees who are appointed by the government.

The board conduct surveys to identify trends in the development of handloom industries and to take appropriate measures. It prepares and publishes the yearly statistics on the situation in the handloom industries, on basis of the statistics to remove various problems. A top priority of the board is to arrange for the marketing of all kinds of handloom products. It informs people about new products through advertisements. The board plays an important role in organising credit for weavers and in supplying them with machinery and yarn. It also helps weaving units by arranging supply of spare parts, dice, chemicals, and other necessary materials. Training and cottage industry fairs are arranged at the board's initiative to encourage weavers.

Bangladesh Handloom Board works with about one and a half million weavers of the country to develop handloom industries, the products of which can meet about 63% of country's demand for cloth. At present, the board emphasises providing of microcredit to weavers. The projects, which are now under implementation by the board, are Services and Facility Centre (SFC), the Narsingdi Cloth Processing Centre (CPC), a Textile and Facilities Centre (TFC) and the Training Institutes at Narsingdi and Bera. The board plans to establish a Benarashi Palli (village for weaving the benarashi type of sari) at Mirpur (Dhaka) and Ishwardi. [Md Tuhin Molla]