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Export of Kashmiri handicrafts may reach Rs 1000 cr during 2022-2023

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar April 12 (KINS): After witnessing sudden decline post abrogation of Article 370 then Covid, the export of Kashmiri handicrafts is expected to reach Rs 1000 crore during 2022-2023.

Kashmir remained shut for weeks post abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and then Covid-19 which crippled the economy across the world. However, there has been increase in export of handicrafts during 2022-2023.

Official figures accessed by news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) reveal that goods worth Rs 728.99 crore were exported in the three quarters of the fiscal 2022-2023 of which export of Kashmiri carpets were over Rs 300 crore to various countries. The other handicraft items were shawls, paper machie, wood carving, crewel/chain stitch.

Director Handicrafts and Handlooms J&K, Mehmood A Shah, said they have finalized figures of only three quarters so far. “We believe that the export figure of Kashmiri handicrafts would have reached to Rs 1000 crore during 2022-2023 but it will take some time to get final figures,” Shah said.

In 2021-22, handicrafts products worth Rs 563.13 crore were exported to different markets. Carpets topped the list with exports touching Rs 251.06 crore.

Kashmir’s handicrafts are famous across the world due to quality and are man made. Gulf and European countries form a major customer base for Kashmiri carpets and Pashmina shawls.

The iconic Kashmiri carpets are known for their exquisite designs and intricate workmanship. Over the period of time, world-class masterpieces have been created particularly during the Mughal-Afghan and Sikh-Dogra period. Some of these masterpieces are displayed in renowned museums across the world.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently said the handicraft and handloom sector of the Union Territory has recorded an unprecedented growth during fiscal 2022-2023.

He said the administration has taken several important steps to boost the handicraft and handloom sector.

“We are committed to provide training, design, technology, financial and other infrastructure support that will significantly contribute to the growth of this sector and earnings of artisans,” he said.

“More than three lakh artisans are registered with the department. A number of steps like enhanced financial assistance, 7 per cent interest subvention, training, assistance to 3,000 Self Help Groups and cooperative societies have been taken to accelerate the development of this sector,” the LG said. (KINS)

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