Srinagar, June 21 : Union Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela dedicated the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology and Craft Development Institute to the nation here today.
The two institutions have been constructed at a cost of Rs. nine crore and Rs. 5.30 crore respectively.
Addressing on the occasion, Vaghela said that his Ministry is focusing on creating the much needed institutional support to the craft sector so that the handicraft items of the State are made competitive in the world markets.
He said that the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology will support the local carpet and allied industry through human resource development, designing and other connecting fields.
Addressing at the function, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the State produces handicrafts worth Rs. 1600 crore and the handicraft items worth 1400 crore rupees are exported to other countries every year.
He thanked the Central Government for its liberal assistance in the development of handicrafts and textiles and said that during the last two decades of turmoil it was only the handicraft industry which stabilized the economy of the State.
Vaghela also launched Raw Material Bank for Wood for Khatamband artisans. The wooden handicrafts made out of walnut wood are in great demand in the country and abroad. There are about 2,500 artisans engaged in wood based crafts including Khatamband.
Later on after laying the foundation stone of the Field Administrative Cell of the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) in Srinagar, Vaghela also gave away health insurance scheme cheques to the artisans.
The Chief Minister said that the Textiles Minister stressed the need to boost up the handicraft sector in the State.
Vaghela assured that the incentives given to handicraft sector in the State by the Central Government will continue for five more years starting from the current year.
Azad said that the Central Government has been providing all possible help to boost the handicraft sector and requested the Textiles Minister to provide 75 per cent of the cost of carpet looms which are going to be replaced in a phased manner for the next five years.
He said that eighty thousand such looms will be replaced and the State Government will provide 25 per cent of their cost.