SRINAGAR: Dying carpet sector has got a new lease of life after the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment sanctioned Rs 56 lakh for training 200 people from OBC or other groups to revive the traditional craft in Kashmir.
“National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC) is pleased to convey the sanction of Rs. 56,56,000 for conducting Skill Development Training Programmes for 200 persons belonging to the target group,” said Suresh Kumar Sharma, General Manager (Grants), NBCFDC, in a communiqué to IICT, Srinagar.
Ministry said the beneficiaries should belong to either a caste categorized as OBC under state or central government list with annual family income below Rs. three lakh or communities categorized as De-Notified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) irrespective of caste or annual income criteria or EBCs. However, preference should be given to persons belonging to the OBC target group.
“In the case of OBC, the caste certificate issued by appropriate state government authority may be confirmed to be appearing either in the Centre list at the website or in the designated state government list. Annual Family income from all sources should be below Rs.3.00 Lakh,” he said.
In the case of EBCs, there will be no caste certificate required; however, Annual Family income from all sources should be below Rs.1.00 Lakh.
“In the case of skilling of members of the DNT Community, given their extremely deprived & migratory nature, the exemption has been given for insistence of caste certificate, income certificate, proof of age, and permanent address if the same is not available. In the absence of this, the training providers can take undertaking in the form of self-declaration of the candidate of his/her specific caste, date of birth, and address along with the endorsement by the local Pradhan of the Community/Cluster to this effect,” he said.
Centre’s decision comes at a time when handicraft exports continue to maintain an upward trajectory despite the Ukraine war and slump in some European countries.
Official data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor revealed that handicrafts worth Rs. 208.21 crore. were exported in the first quarter of FY 2023-24
Carpet exports have recorded the highest increase. Carpets worth Rs 88. 92 crore were exported in Q1FY23. It was followed by Shawls and Rumals. Two items worth Rs 79.95 crore were exported in the first quarter.
Chain stitch worth Rs 32.85 crore was exported in Q1. Papier Machie goods worth Rs 2.23 crore were exported during that period. Woodcarving worth Rs 1.72 core and other products worth Rs 2.54 crore were exported in the June quarter.
Last fiscal, Kashmir handicraft exports doubled despite the Ukraine war and COVID resurgence
Official data revealed that handicrafts worth Rs. 1116.37 crore were exported in FY 2022-23 against Rs. 563.13 Crore in FY 2021-22