A good news has finally come for the handloom and handicraft industry of Jammu and Kashmir (India) in the form of Government support.
J&k Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has assured Nizamududdin Bhat, Vice Chairman, Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporations to work for the betterment and growth of the sector.
Hurdles like 2014 floods, 2016 unrest followed by demonetization and implementation of GST in July this year have hit hard those associated with the handloom and handicraft industry.
Furthermore, Bhat urged the CM to announce special schemes to support the artisan community and attract the youth towards the industry.
Despite all odds, handicraft exports from J&K increased by 8.6 per year-on-year to Rs. 1,151.12 crores in 2016-17 from Rs. 1,059.41 crores in 2015-16.
According to Bhat, the organisation is planning some incentives at its level to help the artisans. This kind of support will not only support them but will also promote the traditional craft in the state.
J&K is a home to around 2.50 lakh artisans who are directly dependent on the handicraft sector for their livelihood. The sector has a great potential for more employment if proper attention is paid to its expansion and promotion to increase the demand.
According to the Directorate of Handicrafts, the sector earns around Rs. 1,700 crores in foreign exchange every year.