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EPCH seeks govt support to boost handicraft exports
06
Jun '16
The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has said that the government needs to take several steps like providing fiscal support for skills training and upgradation of machines with a view to boost labour intensive handicrafts sector.

EPCH Vice-Chairman Rajesh Kumar Jain said a slowdown in traditional markets like the US and Europe coupled with a significant decline in cost advantage in the global markets are impacting the sector's exports.

"We need urgent support from the government. Handicrafts exporters are facing huge crunch of skilled manpower and modern machinery. Compliance burden is hitting our margins and and to improve all this, we need funds. We will soon take up the matter with both the Textiles and the Commerce Ministry," Jain told PTI.

He said lack of designers and fund crunch to organise trade fairs abroad too is impacting the exports.

"In the US and the Europe, we are still facing huge problem in terms of demand. These were our major markets. We are now looking at South America, Africa and China. These regions have huge potential for exporters," he said. But he underlined that in order to tap these markets, the council need funds to organise exhibitions, fairs and buyer-seller meets.

The US and Europe together account for about 60 per cent of the country's total handicraft exports.

He also said exporters are facing product compliance issues in western markets.

"We need government support to comply those compliances. Demand of western buyers are very expensive to meet," Jain said.

India's handicraft exports grew by 11 per cent to $125.6 million in March "but these figures are very low and we need to boost this," he said.

The main handicraft items exported by India include house-ware, home textiles, furniture, glassware, bamboo goods, fashion jewellery and lamp and lighting.

He said earlier the country's annual handicraft exports were ranges between $3 billion to $4 billion but it has now come down. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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