Anantnag: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said that the entrepreneurship development through training and capacity building was ensuring product quality and boosting global demand for J&K’s craft.
He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Common Facility Centre (CFC) of Martand Chain Stitch and Crewel Embroidery Scheme of the Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) cluster at Ranipora, Mattan in Anantnag.
The cluster has been established by the J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) with the financial assistance of Rs 4.50 crore under SFURTI, meant for the development of clusters to make the traditional industries more productive and competitive.
Congratulating KVIB and the artisans on the occasion, the LG said that the new facility would cater to the needs of 5000 artisans with multi-pronged intervention for capacity building, skill development, design and product development, and market development.
“This cluster will bring about tremendous change and prosperity in the lives of many artisans, who are a vital component of our society, keeping alive the invaluable elements of our rich culture and tradition,” he said.
“J&K is known for its exquisite crafts and craftsmanship. With the active support of the Centre, the J&K administration is extending every possible support, providing market linkages so that the age-old pristine craftsmanship is preserved in its true essence,” LG Sinha said.
Enlisting the initiatives taken by the government to make traditional handicrafts more remunerative and lucrative for the artisan community, he said that the concerted efforts of Khadi and Village Industries Commission and J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board to revive village industries, handloom, and handicrafts scripted a new record in J&K in terms of growth and employment.
In 2021-22, under PMEGP, the KVIC had established 21,640 manufacturing and service units, way ahead of other bigger states.
As many as 1.73 lakh new employment in J&K was generated in FY 2021-22 under PMEGP, which was also the highest across all states and union territories in the country, the LG said.
“Under PMEGP of KVIC, 52,116 units have been installed from 2014 till last financial year compared to only 10,401 village units established in J&K between 2008 and 2014. Further, the limit for financial assistance to handicraft artists through Artisan Credit Card has also increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Besides, 2118 handicraft artists have been given the benefit of Mudra Yojana and 26 units have been set up through the Karkhandar scheme, which will be increased to 50 by the end of this year,” LG Sinha said.
“GI certification for seven crafts including carpets, Pashmina, Sozni, Khatamband, walnut wood carving, papier-mâché, and Kani shawl has been done besides training 1.55 lakh artisans through 432 training centres. Now, artisans have easy access to bank credit to tide over their working capital problems,” he said.
“The modernisation and upgradation of the Government Silk Weaving Factory at Rajbagh, Srinagar was another important step taken by the government towards the revival and holistic development of silk industry in J&K,” the LG said.
On the sidelines of the event, he also highlighted the achievements registered in various sectors in Anantnag and said that all the districts were also setting new paradigms of development work.
“In Anantnag district, record 3000 projects were completed last year and in the current year, Rs 1068 crore were allocated for expenditure on development works with a target of completing 3200 projects,” he said.
DDC chairperson Anantnag Muhammad Yousuf Gorsi lauded the J&K government for taking dedicated measures for the promotion of arts and crafts to provide livelihood opportunities to the artisans and rural entrepreneurs.
Vice Chairperson J&K KVIB Dr Hina Shafi Bhat said that the establishment of the Martand Chain Stitch and Crewel Embroidery was one among many steps taken by the board for the promotion of traditional arts and crafts.
She shared the vision for establishing more traditional art and craft clusters throughout J&K to provide sustained employment for traditional industry artisans and rural entrepreneurs.
Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department Vivek Bhardwaj reiterated the J&K administration’s commitment to enhance the income of artisans and craftsmen, providing necessary handholding to the young entrepreneurs, besides extending support to the artisans for marketing their products on national and international platforms.
The LG felicitated the artisans and craftsmen for their contribution to the sector.
Earlier, he inspected the stalls set up by the stakeholders and various government departments, and also interacted with the artisans.
ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Piyush Singla, Secretary J&K KVIB Farukh Qazi, PRI members, HoDs, senior officials, artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs in large numbers were present on the occasion.