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Govt to target 25 clusters to boost handicraft exports

The government is in the process of identifying 25 export-oriented clusters to boost India’s shipments from the handicraft sector, a top official said.

The exports of handicrafts during the April-June period registered a growth of 3.52 per cent in rupee terms and stood at Rs 5,797 crore. However, in dollar terms, there was a marginal decline of (-) 0.39 per cent with exports of $865 million.

“We are in the process of identifying 25 handicraft export-oriented clusters to boost shipments from the sector. We can even organise reverse buyer-seller meets in these clusters,” Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) Shantmanu told agencies.

Besides, he said, in the last two years, 25 lakh artisans have been identified for issuance of ‘pehchan’ (identity) card which enables them to avail direct benefit transfer facility under schemes, and 20 lakh artisans have already been issued such cards.

Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) comes under the administrative control of the Textiles Ministry.

“25 handicrafts cluster will be added advantage as backward integration of exporters to provide them quality and novelty handicraft products to enlarge the export basket to aim for a quantum jump in exports. Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) will be catalyst in marketing to provide them forward linkage with overseas buyers,” said Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH.

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