E-commerce platform to link artisans, weavers in J-K

E-commerce platform to link artisans, weavers in J-K

Jammu, Jan 30 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir government is introducing an e-commerce platform to link artisans and weavers of the state to increase the exports of handicrafts and handloom products.

"It is also aimed at achieving the prime objective of minimising the exploitation of the multiple steps of middlemanship," Industries and Commerce Minister Chander Parkash Ganga said today.

Replying to a question in the legislative assembly here, he said 44,414 artisans have been covered under the Artisan Credit Card (ACC) scheme involving interest subsidy of Rs 62.36 crore whereas artisans have received loans to the tune of Rs 375 crore till November 2017.

There are 4 lakh artisans engaged in the manufacturing of handicraft goods in the state, of which 1,67,476 are registered and 2,32,524 un-registered.

ACC scheme provides for easy and soft credit facilities to artisans, weavers, members of cooperative societies and craftsmen to start their independent ventures.

The scheme envisages financial assistance in the form of loan with a ceiling of Rs 1 lakh from various banks and financial institutions.

The government provides interest subsidy at the rate of 10 per cent on the loan over a period of five years, he said.

The minister said during 2017-18 allocation and targets have been enhanced to Rs 81.82 crore and 4,125 units compared to the previous years figures of Rs 42.52 crore and 2,127 units, respectively.

He said new initiatives have been announced in budget 2018-19 to further incentivise the artisans by providing better market support and ensure quality in the handicraft products.

"The budget proposals include consideration of handicraft units registered with handicrafts department at par with industrial units for the purpose of availing incentives under the extended industrial policy.

"Rs 5 crore each being provided to the handicraft department and handloom development corporation for raw material and inventory upgradation will actually reach to the artisans and weavers as the inventory is bought from local artisans," he said.

Likewise, provision of Rs 5 crore has been set aside to support heritage craft of carpet making, he said.

Ganga said to coordinate the carpet design activities and to preserve this heritage, a design bank would be created at a cost of Rs 1 crore.

He said over 8,000 looms have been distributed among the beneficiaries free of cost, while the state government provides about Rs 14,000 per loom as state share against Central share of Rs 40,000 per loom.

Union Ministry of Textiles has also accorded in-principle approval for procurement and distribution of additional lot of 6,000 modern carpet looms with central share of Rs 24 crore, he said.

Ganga said certificate course in carpet manufacturing (CCCM) is being conducted under integrated skill development scheme (ISDS) of Ministry of Textiles under which as many as 2,740 persons have been trained so far.

Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) is also conducting certificate course for training of trainers (CCTOT) with the objective to create a pool of professional trained human resource for the carpet industry, he said.

"To create self-employment opportunities for the target groups, six months certificate course in carpet weaving is also being conducted in concerned areas of Kashmir division and as many as 300 persons from different districts have been trained till date," he added. PTI TAS AB ABM