In a significant step towards promotion of Handicrafts, the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir has announced a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for GI certified Pashmina shawls.
The decision was taken considering the importance for promotion of GI for hand spun and hand woven Pashmina. GI has acquired importance due to assured quality and authenticity and has thus become a valuable commercial asset.
Till date, 7 crafts including Pashmina, Sozni, Kani, Paper-mâchié, Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband and Carpet have been registered under Geographical Indication of Goods Act-1999.
The MSP of Pashmina was determined after three consecutive meetings that were held at Indian Institute of Carpet Technology between the representatives from various organizations associated with Handicrafts and Handloom sector including Kashmir Pashmina Karighar Union, Yender Society, Numani Welfare Trust, and Traders Association.
After discussions and considering various types of expenditures incurred during different stages of manufacturing, the committee unanimously proposed Minimum Support Price of Rs. 12,000 for GI Certified Plain Pashmina hand spun and hand woven Shawl.
Further, MSP for knotted Carpets which is under the process shall be announced shortly.
Among the various benefits of adopting Minimum Support Price policy, it will help in reviving hand spinning and hand weaving and will help grass root level artisans who work hard to promote these crafts by virtue of which Kashmir is famous.
The craftsmen are the focal point of the GI Act, 1999 for the purposes of benefit sharing. They have to be identified for the purposes of locus-standi in case of any imitation of their craft. Sale and purchase of counterfeit products shall also be kept under check prior to implementation of MSP.
As an initiative to promote women entrepreneurship, it shall also help in revival of hand-spun and hand-woven products to generate employability and upscale the economic prospectus of women weavers.
The stakeholders expressed their satisfaction over the constitution of the committee and demanded appropriate marketing platforms to ensure economic up scaling.
The participants included Mohammad Abbas, Assistant Director, Handicrafts, Bashir Ahmad, Manager, Handloom and Handicrafts (S&E) Corporation Ltd. and all the representatives of Tahafuz.
Meanwhile, it has been impressed upon all Govt. agencies to effect purchases of Pashmina on the MSP notified by the Government.