Kochi, Dec 22 (UNI) The Kerala Government will undertake a ''re-branding'' of Khadi as a premium product, State Principal Secretary, Industries, T Balakrishnan said today.
Inaugurating a 'Buyer Seller Meet', organised as part of the ongoing 'Golden Jubilee All India Khadi and Village Industries Exhibition' here, Mr Balakrishnan said time had come to redefine and reposition 'khadi' as a premium product.
'Khadi', which was born during India's freedom struggle as a challenge to the imperialist power, was a means to create not only wealth but also employment for the people.
''The time has come now to reposition 'khadi', which should no longer be seen only as a poor man's product,'' he said.
Stating that there was a premium on natural products all over the world, he urged the manufacturers of cottage products such as soaps to brand their wares as ''100 per cent natural'' and market them in India and abroad.
Stating that promotion of 'khadi' was an important component of Kerala's industrial policy, he said ''we want to refocus and reposition 'khadi' and village industry goods as premium products.'' Earlier, welcoming the gathering, Khadi Board Director N Govindan Kutty said that nearly 100 stalls, selling a variety of handmade products from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, had been put up as part of the exhibition.
However, the focus of the exhibition was not only on selling products but attracting investment to the sector.
Khadi Board Member T N Mani said the Board was making efforts to draw up a plan to boost export of cottage and village industry products in collaboration with agencies such as the State Trading Corporation.