SRINAGAR: To review the progress on the redressal of issues faced by pashmina weavers, manufacturers of copper utensils and fur artisans, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal convened a meeting here on Saturday.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Director Industries and Commerce Kashmir, Additional Commissioner Kashmir, officers from handloom, power and police departments, besides representatives of pashmina, copper and fur artisans, a press note issued here read. While discussing the issues of the manufacturers of copper utensils, it was decided that ban on manufacture of specified copper utensils by machines, as prohibited under J&K Prohibition on Manufacture of Specified Copper Utensils (by Machines) Act 2006, shall be strictly implemented for which the DC Srinagar was directed to close down any unit violating the ban and confiscate the machinery and the machine made utensils as prohibited under the Act. The police officials were also directed to assist the district administration in taking action against the violators as per the law.
To address the issues of pashmina weavers, the deputy commissioner and director industries were directed to take action against any industrial unit who are unauthorizedly weaving pashmina on power looms in absence of any registration from the industries department.
Pashmina weavers are facing threat to their livelihood from the units who are weaving pashmina on power looms and then market them as handmade pashmina. It was informed that Craft Development Institute (CDI) Srinagar is in the process of upgrading its capacity to certify Geographical Indication (GI) of a sufficient number of handmade pashmina products in its labs so that genuine and handmade pashmina products can be differentiated by the customers, the press note further read.
The director industries and commerce informed that 696 identified fur artisans, who were affected due to the ban on the fur trade, are being rehabilitated by the government by way of covering them under PMEGP. It was said that they are getting subsidy of 25-35% on investment in establishing their income generating units, besides 5% of additional subsidy from the state government.
The industries department was directed to examine the demands of the fur artisans, to assess if additional benefits could be provided to them by the state government to protect and improve their economic conditions, the pres note added.