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Govt trying to reinvigorate handicrafts exports but needs ideas from industry: Piyush Goyal

Goyal said the government wants to open up more exhibition space for handicrafts at existing government premises but is wary of only a few players cornering most of the showroom space either directly or by setting up different entities.

June 28, 2022 / 08:53 PM IST
Representative Image. A traditional carpet being weaved in Kashmir

Representative Image. A traditional carpet being weaved in Kashmir

Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal has said the government is trying to look at the sector in a new light and invited ideas to boost production and exports.

Speaking at the 23rd Handicrafts Export Awards Function on June 28, Goyal said the government is waiting to receive ideas from the sector itself. "A committee had been set up with this in mind, but unfortunately we did not receive many innovative ideas. We need more ideas from you," the Minister said.

He suggested that players in the sector should come up with ideas to increase the monthly income of the 30 lakh families associated with the handicrafts sector, by Rs 1,000. He added that people working in the industry can also come up with technological innovations to reduce the cost and effort of creating handicrafts.

Goyal lauded the Rs 33,000 crore worth of handicraft exports. "It's not a small number. There has been a 63 percent growth in the previous year as well," Goyal said.

Goyal also continued to push for less government subsidies for producers. "Subsidy often becomes a limiting factor rather than an encouragement to grow and think big. People wait for years to receive the government subsidy, instead of focusing on growth," the Minister said.

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However, the significant majority of the sector belongs to the micro-segment and consists of small businesses who have argued for better and more streamlined government support to push their products abroad.

"We want to focus on quality, consistency, packaging, and brand. Ideas for creating an ecosystem which supports these has to come from you and not the government," the Minister told the attendees.

Goyal said the government wants to open up more exhibition space for handicrafts at existing government premises. "But I am afraid that only a few players would corner most of the showroom space either directly or by setting up different entities. We want display space being given to artists from across the country," he said.

Goyal said the biggest brand ambassador of Indian handicrafts is Prime Minster Narendra Modi, who has often chosen Indian fabrics, designs and weaves to wear at international summits and his tours abroad.

Case in point, Modi gifted a Kashmiri hand-knotted silk carpet to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, a Gulabi Meenakari brooch and cufflink set from Varansi to US President Joe Biden and a Metal 'Marodi carving' matka to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz from Moradabad.
Subhayan Chakraborty has been regularly reporting on international trade, diplomacy and foreign policy, for the past 7 years. He has also extensively covered evolving industry issues and government policy. He was earlier with the Business Standard newspaper.
first published: Jun 28, 2022 08:53 pm
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