KCCI says Handicrafts sector under stress in Kashmir

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday said that Handicrafts sector is under serious stress in Kashmir and demanded immediate intervention of government for its revival.

According to KCCI statement, an interaction with stakeholders belonging to the handicrafts sector was held which was presided over by Nasir Hamid Khan, Senior Vice President. Parvaiz Bhat, Chairman Handicrafts Sub-Committee and Rauf Ahmad Punjabi, Chairman Trade Fairs Sub-Committee also participated in the interaction.

“Members said losses are incurred by exporters of woollen shawls due to the replacement of the MEIS by ROSCTL from March, 2019. The ROSCTL suffered from discriminatory rates which benefited exporters of low value shawls whereas exporters of high value pashimina and embroidered shawls were put to a loss due to the disparity in the schedule.  This had resulted in a sharp decline in the export of Kashmiri Shawls and other allied products.”

Other issues discussed included the eligibility of members of the handicraft sector for availing benefits of the MSME Packages and extension of dates for export remittances by the RBI due to delays in receipt of payments from foreign buyers, waiver of loans taken by artisans, capital infusion at concessional interest rates.

Rauf Ahmad Punjabi and Parvaiz Bhat said the artisans who were provided loans by the J&K Bank on concessional interest rates are caught in a debt trap because of the delayed reimbursement of its share of interest by the Government.