JK Handicrafts Export touches high of Rs. 1000 crores




Srinagar, May 27 (Scoop News) -  In a significant achievement, the State’s Handicrafts export has touched an all time high of Rs.1004 crores by ending March, 2011 as compared to Rs. 661.24 crores during the previous fiscal.

Stating this here today, while, reviewing the performance of Handicrafts Department at a high level meeting, the Minister for Industries & Commerce  S.S.Slathia said that the Govt. is mobilizing all the available options and resources to give boost to the Handicrafts sector which provides livelihood to about 4 lakh people in the state.

 Commissioner/Secretary, Industries & Commerce  Umang Narula, Director Handicrafts, J&K.  Meraj-ud-Din Keenu, all the district level officers and representatives of planning and development departments attend the meeting.

The Minister said measures are underway to provide all the possible export oriented facilities to the artisans and handicrafts traders adding that after strenuous efforts of the State Govt., the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs has established Foreign Trade Affairs Office in Srinagar where a senior officers of Indian Trade Service (ITS),  A. Saibaboo, Assistant Director General, Foreign Trade Affairs has already assumed the charge. Opening of this Trade service was a long pending demand of the artisans and handicrafts traders,  Slathia added. In addition, the Director General, Foreign Trade, GoI has authorized the Director, Handicrafts J&K as licensing authority for issuing registration-cum-membership certificates by the virtue of which the artisans and handicrafts dealers would be now be  able to get exemption from export duty without going to Delhi for getting themselves registered with various Export Promotion Councils at New Delhi.

The Minister said that with the increase in the montly stipend of trainees from  Rs. 100 per month ( Basic Course) to Rs. 500 pm and from Rs 200 pm to Rs. 700 per month for advanced course, the Govt. is poised to utilize 100% intake capacity in all the 553 Handicrafts Centres running in the State. The Handicrafts department has set the target to train 12000 youth in various handicrafts trades during the current financial year,

The Minister also directed for expeditiously completing the ambitious project to replace all the traditional looms with the modern looms under implementation at a cost of Rs. 1.20 crore. It was informed that 39 looms have already been replaced by the modern looms while the remaining 35 looms would be replaced by the June 20th, this year.

The Minister said Govt. would explore all possibilities to provide free insurance cover to the BPL artisans adding that State Awards for outstanding artisans would be revived from the current year to encourage artists to adopt handicrafts as a dignified profession. He also directed by organizing convening Buyer-Seller meets and awareness programmes regarding potential of Handicrafts in providing job avenues in nook corner of the state in consultation with the local public representatives.

 Slathia directed that each trainee should be paid stipend through Banks to bring more transparency and accountability in the working of the handicrafts department. “Ensure that each handicrafts centre is fully functional or face strict action,”  Slathia warned the field officers. He said Handicrafts of the State have world acceptability and the onus lies upon all of us to exploit the economic and employment potential in this sector optimally to bring speedy social economic transformation in the state. He also directed the field officers not to shift training centres without the knowledge of the local public representatives.