Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated the Common Facility Centre of Martand Chainstitch and Crewel Embroidery SFURTI Cluster at Ranipora, Mattan in Anantnag.
The cluster has been established by the J&K Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) with the financial assistance of Rs 4.50 crores under Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), meant for development of clusters to make the traditional industries more productive and competitive.
Congratulating KVIB and the artisans on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the new facility will cater to the needs of 5000 artisans with multipronged 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 vital component of our society, keeping alive the invaluable elements of our rich culture and tradition, he added.
J&K is known for its exquisite crafts and craftsmanship. With the active support of the Central Government, the UT administration is extending every possible support, providing market linkages so that the age-old pristine craftsmanship is preserved in its true essence, added the Lt Governor.
Enlisting the initiatives taken by the government to make traditional handicrafts more remunerative and lucrative for the artisan community, the Lt Governor said that the concerted efforts of Khadi & Village Industries Commission and J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board to revive village industries, handloom, and handicrafts has 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 is also the highest across all states and UTs in the country, the Lt Governor noted.
Under PMEGP of KVIC, 52,116 units have been installed from 2014 till last financial year as 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 was also increased from Rs One lakh to Two lakhs, 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.
Entrepreneurship development through training and capacity building is ensuring product quality and boosting global demand for the J&K's craft, observed the Lt Governor.
GI certification for seven crafts including Carpets, Pashmina, Sozni, Khatamband, Walnut Wood carving, Paper Mache, Kani Shawl has been done, besides 1.55 lakh artisans have been trained through 432 training centres.
Now, artisans have easy access to bank credit to tide over their working capital problems, he added. The modernization and upgradation of Government Silk Weaving Factory at Rajbagh, Srinagar is another important step taken by the government towards the revival and holistic development of silk industry in the UT, the Lt Governor said.
On the sidelines of the event, the Lt Governor also highlighted the achievements registered in various sectors in Anantnag, and said that all the districts are also setting new paradigms of development work.
In Anantnag district, a record 3000 projects were completed last year and in the current year, Rs. 1068 crore have been allocated for expenditure on development works with a target of completing 3200 projects, he added.
Terming J&K as an oasis of talent, the Lt Governor urged the youth to tread the path of peace and be a part of the developmental journey of the nation. Mohd.
Yousuf Gorsi, DDC Chairperson Anantnag, lauded the UT Government for taking dedicated measures for the promotion of arts and crafts to provide livelihood opportunities for the artisans and rural entrepreneurs.
Dr Hina Shafi Bhat, Vice Chairperson, J&K KVIB, speaking on the occasion, said that the establishment of the Martand Chainstitch and Crewel Embroidery is one among many steps taken by the Board for the promotion of traditional arts and crafts.
The VC also 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.
Sh Vivek Bhardwaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries & Commerce Department, reiterated the UT 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 at national and international platforms.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor felicitated the artisans and craftsmen for their contribution in the sector. Earlier, the Lt Governor inspected the stalls set up by the stakeholders and various government departments, and also interacted with the artisans.
Sh Vijay Kumar, ADGP Kashmir; Dr Piyush Singla, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag; Sh Farukh Qazi, Secretary, J&K KVIB; PRI members, HoDs, senior officials, besides artisans, craftsmen and entrepreneurs in large numbers were present on the occasion.