Srinagar, Oct 19 (UNI) In order to promote handicrafts in Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmiri Pashmina and Kani Shawl were accorded registration under Geographical Indications (GI) of Goods Act of India.
The Registration Certificates with regard to these two crafts under the Act were presented by Governor N N Vohra and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh at a function held here today for the prominent artisans in the valley.
The registration is the first milestone to begin international branding of the state handicrafts and ensuring genuine as well as superior quality of craft merchandise for the consumers.
The step will ensure that the good standard of these handicraft goods and would enhance their prestige in domestic and international market.
Addressing the function, Mr Ramesh expressed satisfaction that these two crafts have got the much needed recognition of GI which would go a long way in protecting and promoting the Kashmir brand in these crafts.
He said the GI Act was passed by Parliament in 2003 and the first brand to be given GI Registration was Darjeeling tea.
He said so far, 96 items have been given GI Registration in the country and with this inclusion of Kani Shawl and Kashmir Pashmina, the number has gone to 98.
The minister urged the artisans to work unitedly for the promotion of handicrafts and said 15 to 20 per cent benefit in the export market was expected as a result of GI Registration.
He said the GI will be accorded to Kashmir Sozni also within a fortnight.
The minister however, stressed the need for initiating the process of registration of Kashmiri handicrafts at the international level and he said this was a long process which needed a lot of hard work.
He offered all possible financial and technical assistance for this endeavour from his ministry.
The minister lauded the role of Craft Development Institute and its Director Shariq Farooqi, for his contribution in promoting the handicrafts of Kashmir.
Referring to Shahtoos, the minister said the task force constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into the demands of the traders of Kashmir, with regard to Shahtoos, has submitted its report to the Union Textile Ministry and he will personally look into the matter to see what practical steps can be taken in this regard.
Mr Vohra said today was a big day for Kashmir handicrafts.
He expressed happiness over the allotment of GI to two important Kashmiri handicrafts, but stressed the need for getting this registration endorsed at the international level.
He urged the artisans and traders to work unitedly and ensure that the quality of the Kashmiri handicrafts was maintained and nobody was able to sell things which were never made here, in the name of Kashmir .
The GI registration certificates for the two crafts have been handed over to 'TAHAFUZ' - a group of practitioners, mainly consisting of artisans and constituted as a Registered Society.
The members of this society are the ''Registered Proprietors'' of the GI marks. However, in accordance with the provisions of the GI Law, other manufacturers who confirm to the same production process and who hail from the same territory may also use the GI mark on their products once they have been registered as 'Authorised Users'.
Apart from nomenclature, the law makes no difference between the status of a register proprietor and an authorised user.
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