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Handicrafts exports grow 18pc in first quarter
Jul '11
India's handicraft exports have grown to US$ 555 million during the initial three months of the current fiscal year, showing a rise of 18 percent over US$ 469.80 million registered during corresponding period of last fiscal. However, the industry experts say that the exports growth is not on the expected lines.

The continuing rise in exports was owing to penetration in newer markets and the rising demand from the customary western markets, mainly the US and the Europe. Art metalware, imitation jewellery and woodware emerged as the main handicraft segments which grew healthily during the first quarter of current fiscal.

In the month of June, the value of exports increased to US$ 166.66 million, recording a year-on-year rise of 22.34 percent over June 2010's US$ 136.23 million.

Meanwhile, the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has said that it would ask the Commerce Ministry to resolve the issues that are impeding the sector's growth and would also raise a demand for introduction of new measures to boost exports.

Besides, with a view to intensify their exports to Latin American countries, exporters in the country are even considering a proposal of instituting a warehouse in Uruguay. Also, a team of EPCH representatives will be meeting the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in connection with the review exercise for export sectors.

EPCH is also to plead its case before the Government to grant one billion rupees to each of the seven cities which are considered to be core centres for handicrafts, to support skill and technological development facilities. The list of seven cities includes Varanasi as a centre for zari and zari products.

According to the EPCH, the Government should reinstate the export benefits for the dealers and retailers for sale of handicraft goods to foreigners in foreign currency.

The handicraft industry in India currently employs around 7.6 million people.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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