Srinagar: Vice Chairman Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporations Nizam-ud-Din Bhat has appreciated the Government decision to slash down the GST rates on several items of handloom and handicrafts, particularly the rates of carpets.
Bhats described the decision as very apt and timely which, according to him, will come as relief to thousands of artisan families, workers and business persons.
He said Handloom and Handicraft sectors of the state have been facing tough times from past two decades owing to unrest, natural calamities and other market problems. “In order to put these sectors back on track, it would require a generous support from Government in terms of easy tax regime, incentives and market assistance,” he said.
The Vice Chairman said that Handloom and Handicrafts goods from Kashmir need to hit the national and international market for the good of economy, employability, preservation of art and craft and safeguarding the heritage and tradition.
VC said that administrative Departments for these sectors are availing opportunities at national level for the revival and uplift of the art and craft and its glory. “Space is being provided to progressive artisans and craftsmen from the state in various exhibitions at national level attracting the international attention,” he said. “Similarly , more market exposure is provided through facilitation of access and PR to dealers in the trade so that craft hands and manufacture units get a desired appreciation and dividend”. He said there is adequate focus on quality control to maintain the sheen of the art and craft.
Bhat said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has sought support from various trade bodies for exploring overseas avenues to push the business further and introduce art and craft of Kashmir in international market. He said the Chief Minister has also directed administrative department of Industries and Commerce to make full use of central schemes for spreading training centres, harnessing the potential and ensuring innovation in skills without losing the basic content of the craft. “Industries ministry is also seeking more financial support for Handloom and Handicraft Corporations from Prime Ministers Development Fund, which will help the two corporations to further its objective of better marketing through more production and manufacturing,” Bhat added.
Bhat expressed hope that with Chief Minister’s keen desire to ensure that local art and craft is protected and its reputation and marketability is restored, the two sectors will soon overcome difficulties to touch the heydays.