Pashmina exports witness decline of 30% in 5 years: Exporters

Pashmina exports witness decline of 30% in 5 years: Exporters
Representational Picture

Srinagar, Aug 15: Kashmir’s handicraft exporters said that the export of Pashmina handmade items has witnessed a decline of over 30 percent during the last five years due to slew of problems confronted by them.

According to a press statement issued here, Pashmina exporters met Union Ministers, NitinGadkari and Environment Minister, BhupinderYadav. They raised issues confronting them which have led to decline in export volume of handicraft items from Kashmir.

“We have witnessed a decline of 30% to 40 % in exports of handmade Pashmina since the last four to five years. If it continues for some more years it will be devastating for the handmade Kashmir Pashmina industry which will eventually leave over 5 lakh artisans and thousands of traders out of work.”

As per the statement, a delegation of Pashmina exporters led by Vice Chairperson KVIB, DrHinaBhat met union minister for Road and Transport, NitinGadkari and Environment Minister, BhupinderYadav at their respective offices in New Delhi.

It said that ministers were apprised about the threat to the Pashmina industry due to delays in clearances at customs and obtaining test reports of seized shawls.

“The wrong branding and identification of Pashmina shawls as Shahtoosh shawls during an inspection by the wildlife department using obsolete scientific techniques are causing huge losses to the Pashmina industry and thus to our country's economy,” the statement reads.

It states that currently, the wildlife department sends the seized samples to their labs where basic optical microscopes are used to study the suspected guard hair found in the shawls. It was explained to the minister's that these guard hairs belong to Pashmina goats and every handmade Pashmina shawl has some guard hair present. Due to this process of seizure and subsequent hardships, many exporters have faced cancellation of orders and also their reputation has been damaged resulting in loss of future orders too.

The statement said both ministers heard the Grievance of the exporters and assured swift action on this matter by adopting the latest techniques like using scanning electron microscopes and DNA technology to identify guard hair of suspected shawls and not seize Pashmina shawls wrongly.

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