The Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga today informed the House that the department has covered 44414 artisans under Artisan Credit Card (ACC) scheme involving interest subsidy of Rs 62.36 crore whereas artisans have received a loan to the tune of Rs 375 crore till ending November 2017.Replying to a question of legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar, he said that ACC Scheme provides for easy and soft credit facilities to the artisans, weavers, members of cooperative societies and craftsmen associated with different activities to start their independent ventures. He said the Scheme envisages financial assistance in the form of loan with a ceiling of Rs 1 lakh from various banks and financial institutions. The Government provides interest subsidy @10% on the loan over a period of 5 years, he added.He further informed that the Ministry of Textiles, GoI has approved distribution of 8000 Modern Carpet Looms (2000 in Phase-I and 6000 in Phase-II) at a cost sharing pattern of 80:20 between Gol and State Government. Over 8000 Looms have been distributed among the beneficiaries free of cost, while the State Government provides about Rs14000 per loom as State Share against Central Share of Rs 40000 per loom.
He said the Ministry of Textiles, Gol has also accorded in principle approval for procurement and distribution of additional lot of 6000 Modern Carpet Looms with Central Share of Rs 24 crore.While replying to another question, the Minister said that around 7500 persons are trained in different crafts annually in various training centres being run by Handicraft department. He further informed that the stipend of Rs 500 per month under elementary training courses and Rs 700 per month under advance training courses is being paid to the trainee artisans.With regard to Skill Development Schemes, the Minister informed that Certificate Course in Carpet Manufacturing (CCCM) is being conducted under Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) of Ministry of Textiles, GoI under which as many as 2740 persons have been trained so far.He said that Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) is also conducting Certificate Course for Training of Trainers (CCTOT) with the objective to create a pool of professional trained human resource for the carpet industry.
“To create self-employment opportunities for the target groups, 6 months Certificate Course in Carpet Weaving is also being conducted in concerned areas of Kashmir Division and as many as 300 persons from different districts have been trained till date” he added.Meanwhile, the Minister said around 80 persons, 20 each from Anantnag, Budgam, Bandipora and Srinagar districts have been imparted 4 month trained under Handicrafts Technical Training on Silk Carpet Weaving Programme, he added.Responding to another part of question, the Minister said that market support is being provided to the artisans, craftsmen and Micro & Small manufacturers through exhibitions at different places within and outside the State.Giving details, the Minister said during 2017-18 till date, 6 Exhibitions at IITF New Delhi, PITEX Amritsar, Chandigarh, Katra, Leh and Jammu have been organized and 4 more Exhibitions at Jaipur, Gwalior, Dehradun and Lucknow are being organized in the remaining months of the current financial year. He added that Handicrafts (S&E) Corporation will also be participating in Spring Fair, Birmingham, UK to be held in February, 2018.
The Handicrafts (Sales & Export) Corporation is also providing market support through direct purchase of Handicraft items exquisite quality and designed products as per market trend, he added.The Minister further informed that the Government is also introducing an e-Commerce platform to link artisans and weavers of the State. The target is to increase the exports of Handicrafts and Handloom Products and serving the prime objective of minimizing the exploitation of the multiple steps of middleman ship, he said.He further informed that the unemployed youth are being provided financial assistance for setting up own ventures under PMEGP. The maximum cost of the project/unit admissible under manufacturing sector is Rs 25.00 lakh, he added.
“It is a bank tie-up scheme where the beneficiary is required to contribute 5 to 10% of the project cost, the GoI provides 25 to 35% Margin Money Subsidy and the rest is provided by the Banks as loan”, he added. The Minister said that during 2017-18 allocation and targets have been enhanced from the previous year's allocation and target of Rs 42.52 crore and 2127 units to Rs 81.82 crore and 4125 Units which is 192% enhancement.He said that to facilitate the buyers to get the genuine products and remunerative prices for the Artisan, "Labelling" has been introduced in the State for Kashmir Pashmina through Craft Dev. Institute (CD), Srinagar.Giving details of the World Bank Projects, he informed that the Papier Machie Cluster at Zadibal, Crewel Chain Stitch Cluster at Noor Bagh and Willow Wicker Cluster at Ganderbal have been sanctioned for funding under the World bank funded Jhelum & Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP).Similarly, under KVIB Clusters the Ministry of MSME, Gol has sanctioned various clusters under SFURTI Scheme including Martand Chain Stitch & Crewel Embroidery Cluster at Anantnag at a cost of Rs.4.50 crore and Sukhnag Sozni Embroidery Handicrafts Cluster, Budgam sanctioned at a cost of Rs 4.45 crore, he informed.
About number of Artisans in the State, the Minister informed that approximately there are 4 lakh Artisans engaged in the manufacturing of Handicraft goods in the State, of which 167476 are registered and 232524 un-registered.He said that few new initiatives have been announced in Budget Proposals 2018-19 to further incentivize the Artisans by providing better market support and ensure sustenance of quality in the Handicrafts products.“The Budget Proposals include consideration of Handicraft units registered with Handicrafts Department at par with Industrial units for the purpose of availing incentives under the extended industrial policy. Rs 5 crore each being provided to the Handicraft Department and Handloom Development Corporation for raw material and inventory up-gradation will actually reach to the Artisans and Weavers as the inventory is bought from local artisans”, he said.Likewise, provision of Rs 5 crore has been set aside to support heritage craft of Carpet in manufacturing and marketing activities, he informed.He said to coordinate the carpet design activities and to preserve this heritage; a design bank shall be created at a cost of Rs 1 crore which will commensurate with the market trends.Mr Mubarak Gul, Mr. M. Y. Tarigami and Mr. Abid Hussain Ansari raised supplementary questions to the main question.