Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, Rajan Prakash Thakur, chaired a meeting of Handloom and Handicraft department to chalk out strategy and plan for revival and promotion of Carpet industry by ensuring handholding to traders, weavers and artisans associated with the industry.

The meeting was attended by Director Handicraft & Handloom Department, Mehmood Ahmad Shah, MD, Handicraft & Handloom Development Corporation, Hashmat Ali Yatoo Director, Indian Institute of Carpet Technology, Zubair Ahmad and other officers besides representative of various trade bodies including Shiekh Ashiq of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Ashiq; Shahid kamili, President, FCIK; Bilal Kawoosa of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Mahraj Krishan Bhat and other members of various trade bodies.

The representatives apprised the Principal Secretary of various issues ailing the industry and sought intervention of government for revival of the industry from grass root level and promotion at local, national and international level.

They requested for establishment of Model Carpet villages in such areas which are already identified and affiliated with the production of Handloom and Handicraft products by developing infrastructure in such areas so that carpet industry will have an organized form.

They also requested that carpet villages should be provided common facility centres wherein Design Development, Dying, Washing, Banking facilities and packing would be available.

Moreover, Principal Secretary was requested that exporters should be given incentives like Export Subsidy to all handmade craft products besides Soft loan for manufacturing, reimbursement of freight subsidy and establishment of artisan welfare Board.

Also, the H&H stakeholders said that IICT should diversify innovative designs satisfying key design criteria and creation of latest innovative design bank in collaboration with school of designs, NIFT, All Kashmir Carpet Manufacturers &Traders Association, Meeras Carpet Weavers Co-operative Ltd and Kashmir Carpet cluster development organization.

During the meeting the trade representatives demanded branding and promotion by showcasing products at trade fairs being held at national and international level.

While holding deliberations with the officers and stakeholders over various aspects and measures needed to be taken, Principal Secretary said that H&H products of Kashmir are superior in quality and every necessary action will be taken to preserve and promote this traditional industry.

He welcomed the suggestions in this regard put forth by officers and affiliated trade representatives.

He also impressed on the participants to tap the USA markets which he termed as the largest and stable market abroad with a huge potential to give fillip to this industry.

In this regard, he directed that a market study of USA be carried out so as to have better understanding which will help us in enhancing exports to this important market.

On the occasion, Director H&H informed that the department will be holding workshop next week on handicraft & handloom designs besides a three day capacity building program on vegetable/natural dyes will be carried out at IICT for which experts from Rajasthan and West Bengal have been invited.

The stakeholders have been requested to participate to ensure the capacity building of Dyers is established and the usage of azo free dyes is checked.

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