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Continue interest subsidy on handicraft exports – EPCH
06
Mar '12
In view of sluggish demand from foreign markets like the EU and US, the Indian Government has been called upon by the handicraft exporters to extend the two percent interest subsidy scheme even after March 31, 2012.

In its pre-budget memorandum placed before the Finance Ministry, the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has demanded extension of the interest subvention scheme.

This, while ensuring availability of credit to exporters at subsidised rates, would raise the competitiveness of handicraft products, the council said.

Sectors including handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are all covered under the scheme under which commercial banks are provided interest subsidy by the government to facilitate concessional lending to exporters.

Around one million people are engaged in the handicraft industry in India. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Saharanpur and Moradabad are India's leading handicraft centres that supply to international markets.

The initial 10 months of the current fiscal saw handicraft exports rising by around 19 percent from last fiscal's US$ 1.5 billion to US$ 1.8 billion.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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