With a view to boosting sale and export of handloom and handicraft products, the State Government has fully exempted Value Added Tax (VAT) on crewel cloths, embroidered chain stitch fabrics and their made ups from the current financial year onwards.This was announced by the Minister of State of Industries and Commerce, Mr. Sajad Ahmed Kichloo, while speaking to a gathering of Handloom Weavers, Handcrafts Artisans, Tourists and Amarnathji Yatries, after inaugurating 15 days long Special Handloom Expo-2013 at Sonamarg-AmarnathJi Yatra base camp today.
Kichloo said that government is making every effort to uplift the living standard of Handloom Weavers, adding that 8000 Modern Looms each costing Rs. 55000are being distributed to weavers free of cost. He said about 15000 weaver families have been covered under weavers’ Health Insurance Scheme.The Minister saidthat The Special Handloom Expo has been organised by the J&K Handloom Development Department and sponsored by the Development Commissioner Handlooms, Union Ministry of Textiles with a view to showcase world famous handloom products and to enable tourists and Amarnathji pilgrims to get genuine products at reasonable price tag. The Expo will also provide platformto Handloom weavers to sell their products directly to the customers without exploitation of the middleman.
Kichloo asked the weavers to avail benefits of various welfare schemes introduced by the government for them. He also instructed the officers of Handicrafts Department to ensure that benefits of different welfare schemes reach to the genuine weavers. He called for launching comprehensive awareness campaignto educate the weavers about various welfare schemes.
The Minister alongwith Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Mr. Shantmanu went round various stalls set up by 25 Handloom Cooperative Societies from all over the State and inspected handloom products on display.Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shantmanu called upon the artisans and weavers to produce quality products which can withstand market competition and customer satisfaction. He said every part of the State has its unique handcrafts product known after the name of that particular area. He asked the weavers to focus on revival of antique design in handcrafts and handlooms especially.Joint Director Handicrafts Department, Mr. Mukhtar-ul- Aziz in his vote of thanks said that two National Level Expos are being organised in world famous Tourist Resort of Pahalgam and Urban Haat Srinagar shortly. He said a project is in offing to provide mechanized Charkhas to the women weavers free of cost which have ten times more efficiency than traditional Charkhas and can fetch 10 times more income.The Managing Director, JKI&HDC, Mr. Javed Iqbal, Director, Geology and Mining, Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Secretary, KVIB, S. Ravinder Singh, Chief Executive officer, Sonamarg Development Authority, Mr. Mohammad Yousuf and other concerned officers were also present on the occasion.