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Handicrafts emporia to be privatised in Goa

Written by: Staff
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Panaji, July 7 (UNI) The Goa Handicrafts, Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation has proposed to lease out three state owned handicraft emporia to private entrepreneurs as part of efforts to switch over from non-core to core business to boost its profits.

At the same time,the corporation had decided to ask the state government to enhance its authorised share capital from the existing Rs 4 crore to Rs 8 crore to facilitate expansion of its emporia network in various popular beaches and to other metro cities in the country besides opening ''Goa Haat'' at Neuginagar in Panaji on the lines of the ''Delhi Haat''.

''We are shortly appointing a consultant to promote Goan handicrafts through brand awareness programmes, including B2B and B2C websites, and for leasing out two emporia in Panaji and one at Calangute to private enterpreneurs through private-public participation,'' corporation chairperson Victoria Fernandes told mediapersons here today.

Talking to reporters after chairing the 103rd board meeting of the corporation, Mrs Fernandes, who is also deputy speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly, said the board had also decided to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for its employees so that the corporation could concentrate on ''core functions'' from non-core functions with renewed vigour.

The corporation, with Rs one crore turnover last fiscal, could have done better but for the slump in the usage of steel in the small scale sector. Efforts to boost use of steel was also underway, she added.

In a bid to promote self-employment for women, the board had approved a ''Mahila Swayam Rojgar Yojana'' for purchase of sewing machines for distribution among at least 1000 women with 25 per cent subsidy.

The scheme benefits 30 per cent of the women belonging to weaker sections.

The board had also favoured blanket ban on use of Plaster of Paris for manufacture of Ganesh idols for the coming Ganesh Chaturdhi festival to prevent environmental damage.

The idol makers and artisans were directed to use locally available clay for making idols for which they would be given 25 per cent subsidy on inputs.

Goa had hitherto been importing 60 per cent of its idols from neighbouring Karnataka, made of Plaster of Paris, which when immersed in rivers and other water bodies was environmentally disastrous and hence the ban.

The small industries were also directed to register with the government before opening any units using Plaster of Paris for making Ganesh idols, she added.

UNI BM MAZ AG2050

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