Amid frequent internet shutdowns and snapping of social media by the authorities, the government is planning to sell the famous Kashmir’s handicraft products online by developing its own marketplace website on the pattern of Flipkart and Amazon.
“A unique and modern site will be developed by the government to sell online our handicraft products which are manufactured by skilled artisans in the state. Rs 3.5 crore has been approved for it,” Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chandra Prakash Ganga told KNS.
“2200 artisans have been identified who will be linked with the site to sell their products on it. The products will have Geographical Indication certification and unique Bar Code to examine their originality and show that they are Kashmir manufactured products,” Ganga told KNS.
The minister said that a Price Committee will be constituted by the government that will work with the artisans to determine prices for the products. And a laboratory will be set up to check the quality of the products. “This will make our artisans and their products global,” he said.
Kashmiri handicrafts, including shawls, carpets, papier machie items, embroidery clothes, rugs etc. are world famous for their unique and aesthetic elegance. These crafts have great diversity and demand across the globe.
As per government estimates, Jammu and Kashmir has nearly 2.50 lakh artisans directly dependent upon handicrafts for their livelihood.
“There is huge great potential for more employment generation in this sector if markets are expanded and demand is increased. Our handicrafts, at present, earn around Rs.1700 crores as foreign exchange every year,” officials in the department told KNS.
An artisan, Gulzar Ahmad, in downtown Srinagar told that the government’s initiative to launch its own retail site for selling handicrafts to the global consumers will boost our trade.
“Government’s own retail site will give credibility to the crafts manufactured by us and online buyers will have an assured shopping through it,” Ahmad told KNS.
However, the artisan was skeptical about the continuity of the proposed site citing frequent snapping of internet and social media by the government due to volatile situation.
Minister Ganga hoped that peace prevails in the Valley and said that the government initiatives about development reach people.