Srinagar, SEP 27: The State’s Industries and Commerce Department has embarked on an ambitious and futuristic marketing project for local handicrafts and other products including paintings by roping in e-commerce giant Amazon for promoting and trading J&K’s exclusive crafts online.
A joint meeting of the State Government officials, Amazon Executives and local representatives of industry and artisans was convened today under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar at SanatGhar here.
Director Handloom Development Department, Rubina Kousar, Managing Director J&K Handloom Development Corporation, Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive Officer J&K KVIB, Raashid Ahmed Qadri, MD JK Handicraft Corporation, Ishtiaq Hussain Drabu, MD JK Industries, Javid Ahmad Khan, Director Handicrafts, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Amazon Executives and representatives of local industry were present at the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Shailendra Kumar said tying up with online business giant Amazon will help promote exclusive JK specific products including handicrafts and handloom items and paintings on the e-commerce platform and will offer global market to the local artisans sitting in any corner of the state.
He said the government is holding deliberations with the Amazon to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them with regard to the marketing and promotion of JK’s exclusive products with a tagline of “Crafts from J&K”.
He said JK’s products include Shawls, silk, wool, Handicrafts and other items from local industries are in great demand in the national and international markets and buyers are looking for such exclusive products mostly online. He said if these products are made available to the buyers through modern marketing and online business platforms, the artisans will be directly benefited.
Kumar said once the formal MoU is signed with Amazon, the e-commerce hub can also educate, train and enable weavers and artisans to directly sell their products to its customers in India and even in international markets on their online platform. “Without any middleman, an artisan sitting in a remote village of JK will be able to directly sell his/her products to a customer sitting in any part of the world through Amazon thus increasing the reach, profit margin and sales of artisans,” he explained.
He said Amazon will not only provide an online marketplace for marketing but will also engage with weavers and artisans across the State to train them on making the products more attractive, appealing and marketable online.
He said the modern marketing techniques will also benefit the start-ups as they can use Amazon as a platform for marketing of their products. He said in future such techniques can also be used to sell horticulture-produce and other JK specific products for getting better sales and profits besides getting a global recognition.
During the meeting, the directors of various departments and corporations presented their views with regard to the marketing of their produce and discussed with Amazon officials the possibilities through which the products of artisans can be sold on global platform thus making the socio-economic conditions of the artisans better-off. “All they need to start selling online is a bank account, a tax number and an internet connection,” he said.
Shailendra Kumar said after deliberations with the Amazon, once all the terms and conditions are finalized, the Government will sign a MoU with the company to formally promote local products.
Pertinently, Amazon has recently launched an online Handmade Store for Artisans to sell their unique, handcrafted goods reaching hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.
Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan
Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.
Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.
The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.
A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.
Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade
Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.
Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.
The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.
President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.
He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.
Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.
“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.
Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.
“The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.
Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.
“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.
Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.
He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.
“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.
Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh
Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”
He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.
“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.
The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.
Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.
“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.
Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.
Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.
“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.
He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.
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