47 cr International Trade Centre at Pampore on cards
The Centre government has approved Rs 50 crore 'Pashmina Development Scheme' for Jammu and Kashmir. The project had been earlier announced in the Union Budget.
The scheme aimed to increase the Pashmina production envisages addition/development of new pastures for rearing of Pashmina producing goats in Kashmir. Currently, Pashmina producing goats are found and reared only in Leh region of the state.
Commissioner/Secretary, Industries & Commerce Department, Shailendra Kumar today chaired a meeting in his officer chambers at civil Secretariat, here, where the scheme was discussed in detail.
The meeting was also attended by Director, Handicrafts; Managing Director, SICOP, Jt Director (PDM), I&C Department and other officers of Industries & Commerce Department besides representatives of FCIK and KCCI.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Kumar said that Union Textile Ministry has approved Rs 50 crore for the Pashmina development scheme in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Our focus will be to increase production of and post- production facilities for Pashmina," he said.
Pashmina is largely found in Leh region, "but with the help of funds we got, our focus will now be on exploring new non-tradition areas such as Sonamarg, Zanskar, Gurez and Pahalgam," he said.
He said that developing new pastures will increase raw material availability in Kashmir. "In post-production phase, we would procure and refine the raw pashmina and process it in the government woolen mill," he said, adding that a common facility will be developed in the mill where the raw Pashmina will be processed into the semi-finished Pashmina.
He said under the scheme, the government will modify the artisan credit cards as it provides financial assistance to artisans on 3 per cent rate.
Meanwhile, the JK government has approved the establishment of International Trade Centre at Pampore with an estimated cost of Rs 47 crore to be funded by centre government under Assistance to States for Development of Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE).
The Commissioner Secretary I&C said that the foundation stone of the facility will be laid soon as the other "formalities have been vetted by the concerned authorities."
He said in an endeavor to rejuvenate and boost the Handicraft and Horticulture sector of the State, the Government of J&K has approved construction of International Trade Centre at Sempora Pampore.
"The prestigious project shall come over an area of 371 kanal which will have all the latest facilities of world class nature under one roof," he said.
The idea of establishing ITC is to expose the local traders and trades like handicraft items, agriculture and horticulture products to international markets which could promise bigger income to the entrepreneurs.
Kumar while throwing light on this project said it has been envisioned with the purpose to conduct Trade Fairs, Conferences, Business Events, Economic Forums & Exhibitions at National as well as International Levels.
International business center would function as the main interface between the exporters of the state and overseas markets. It would promote export to Middle East, South East Asia.
He added that ITC, proposed to be set up in Pampore as part of trade center, would in turn "network with Indian export marts to attract buyers here."
The foundation of International Trade Center was laid in 2005 by then Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Jai Ram Ramesh along with then State Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. "However, the project could not later take off for want of finances by the centre," sources said.
Kumar said the Government has also decided to establish Kashmir Haat-2 adjacent to the ITC after the KCCI and FCIK had opposed dismantling of Kashmir Haat at Jehangir Chowk. "Now both places will be developed for the promotion of craft in the state," he said.