Srinagar: Showrooms are now required to give an undertaking that they will sell Kashmir handicrafts with Geographical Indication (GI) tags before renewing registrations.
“Last year, we started a GI campaign. There is a lot of focus on selling GI-tagged goods. The showrooms that apply for renewal of their registrations are now required to give an undertaking that they will only sell GI-tagged goods. We tell them that they can sell machine-made goods too but the customers should be told about the difference. There should not be any misbranding and the machine-made goods have to be tagged separately,” Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah said on the sidelines of an exhibition at South Kashmir tourist resort Pahalgam.
He said the campaign to promote GI-tagged products will continue. “The campaign will be stepped up in the coming days. We have started a social media campaign in this regard to reduce the role of middlemen. We have canceled a couple of registrations of showrooms and also fined offenders. It is just a beginning and a lot more needs to be done,” he said.
Shah said the Handicrafts Department was aiming to cash in from the booming tourism season by holding exhibitions at the major tourist spots.
“We want to cash in from the tourist footfalls as lots of artisan inventories had piled up during the Covid lockdown. We want to focus on quality and give an opportunity to the artisans through exhibitions at tourist spots. We want to create marketing opportunities for the artisans. This is our second exhibition at Pahalgam and we have done more at other tourist spots. There will be more in the coming days in the UT and across the country and a calendar has already been drafted,” he said.
The GI tags issued by the Pashmina Testing and Quality Certification Centre can be verified online at http://www.kashmirpashmina.secure-ga.com.
“Every GI tag contains a numerical code. Customers can verify the code online. If the product is patented under the name of an artisan, his/ her name too will appear. Our testing facility is available for all including artisans, manufacturers, or customers,” an official said.