JAMMU: The industries and commerce department has covered 44,414 artisans under Artisan Credit Card (ACC) scheme involving interest subsidy of Rs 62.36 crore whereas artisans have received a loan to the tune of Rs 375 crore till ending November 2017, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga stated in the State Legislative Assembly here on Tuesday.
Replying to a question by legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar, he said that ACC scheme provides for easy and soft credit facilities to the artisans, weavers, members of cooperative societies and craftsmen associated with different activities to start their independent ventures, read an official handout.
He said, “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 @10% on the loan over a period of 5 years, he added.
He further said that the Ministry of Textiles, GoI has approved distribution of 8,000 Modern Carpet Looms (2,000 in Phase-I and 6,000 in Phase-II) at a cost sharing pattern of 80:20 between Gol and state government. “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,” he informed.
He said the Ministry of Textiles, Gol has also accorded in principle approval for procurement and distribution of additional lot of 6000 Modern Carpet Looms with Central Share of Rs 24 crore.
While replying to another question, the minister said that around 7,500 persons are trained in different crafts annually in various training centres being run by handicrafts department. He further informed that the stipend of Rs 500 per month under elementary training courses and Rs 700 per month under advance training courses is being paid to the trainee artisans, the handout read.
With regard to skill development schemes, the minister informed that Certificate Course in Carpet Manufacturing (CCCM) is being conducted under Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) of Ministry of Textiles, GoI under which as many as 2,740 persons have been trained so far, it further read.
He said that 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.
“To create self-employment opportunities for the target groups, 6 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.
The minister also said around 80 persons, 20 each from Anantnag, Budgam, Bandipora and Srinagar districts have been imparted 4 months training under Handicrafts Technical Training on Silk Carpet Weaving Programme.
Responding to another part of the question, the minister said that market support is being provided to the artisans, craftsmen and micro and small manufacturers through exhibitions at different places within and outside the state, read the handout further.
The Handicrafts (Sales & Export) Corporation is also providing market support through direct purchase of handicraft items for exquisite quality and designed products as per market trend, he added.
The minister further informed that the government is also introducing an e-commerce platform to link artisans and weavers of the state. “The target is to increase the exports of handicrafts and handloom products and serving the prime objective of minimising the exploitation of the multiple steps of middlemanship”, he said.
He further informed that the unemployed youth are being provided financial assistance for setting up own ventures under PMEGP. The maximum cost of the project/unit admissible under manufacturing sector is Rs 25.00 lakh, he added.
“It is a bank tie-up scheme where the beneficiary is required to contribute 5 to 10% of the project cost, the GoI provides 25 to 35% Margin Money Subsidy and the rest is provided by the Banks as loan”, he added.
The minister said that during 2017-18 allocation and targets have been enhanced from the previous year’s allocation and target of Rs 42.52 crore and 2127 units to Rs 81.82 crore and 4125 Units which is 192% enhancement.
He said that to facilitate the buyers to get the genuine products and remunerative prices for the Artisan, “Labelling” has been introduced in the State for Kashmir Pashmina through Craft Dev. Institute (CD), Srinagar.
Giving details of the World Bank Projects, he informed that the Papier Machie Cluster at Zadibal, Crewel Chain Stitch Cluster at Noor Bagh and Willow Wicker Cluster at Ganderbal have been sanctioned for funding under the World bank funded Jhelum & Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP).
Similarly, under KVIB Clusters the Ministry of MSME, Gol has sanctioned various clusters under SFURTI Scheme including Martand Chain Stitch & Crewel Embroidery Cluster at Anantnag at a cost of Rs.4.50 crore and Sukhnag Sozni Embroidery Handicrafts Cluster, Budgam sanctioned at a cost of Rs 4.45 crore, he informed.
About number of Artisans in the State, the Minister informed that approximately there are 4 lakh Artisans engaged in the manufacturing of Handicraft goods in the State, of which 167476 are registered and 232524 un-registered.
He said that few new initiatives have been announced in Budget Proposals 2018-19 to further incentivize the Artisans by providing better market support and ensure sustenance of quality in the Handicrafts 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 up-gradation 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 in manufacturing and marketing activities, he informed.
He said to coordinate the carpet design activities and to preserve this heritage; a design bank shall be created at a cost of Rs 1 crore which will commensurate with the market trends, the handout added.