SRINAGAR: Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir taking cognizance of the complaints by some visiting tourists against the handicrafts dealers for selling of fake machine made products instead of genuine, has initiated aggressive inspection drives, where by all the handicrafts dealers are bring regularly visited by inspection teams to check their business of notified articles in conformity to the Jammu & Kashmir Handicrafts Quality Control Act Jammu & Kashmir Tourist Trade Act and Jammu & Kashmir Namdha Quality Control Act.
The dealers found violating the said acts are being penalized on the spot. Accordingly from the past few weeks a total fine of Rs 70000/- has been realized. The department is also contemplating strict action, which may include blacklisting and deregistration of such handicrafts dealers who promote cheap machine made lookalikes and indulge in misbranding as same is considered a serious malpractice and punishable offence under said acts.
Through the advisories issued by the Department all the tourists were advised to purchase only genuine Kashmir art products from only the business establishments registered with the department. The dealers were also directed to ensure the registration certificate issued by the department is displayed in the showroom and their cash memos should contain all the details / credentials of the business establishment, which must be preserved for any customer for future use.
During the course of inspection drives all handicrafts dealers are given brief awareness about the benefits of the GI tagging on the notified Kashmir Crafts, and impact of such tagging in building the brand image of Kashmir Art products. Certification and authenticity thus provided will also help in eradicating the menace of machine made and misbranding of Kashmir art products. G.I is the way to safeguard of our Heritage Art & craft.
The departmental initiative in seeking an affidavit from the registered handicrafts dealers for ensuring sale of GI tagged products has started to yield the desired results. The Handicraft dealers and other stake holders are accordingly advised to play their role in promoting the GI tagging on the notified Kashmir Crafts.