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Govt finally attends to the call of hapless Kashmiri artisans

Jun '08
Kashmiri craftsmen are experiencing a slow but ascertained death as they fail to extricate themselves from the abject poverty which is accompanied by their profession. The handicraft sector itself, has lost its vibrancy forcing thousands of artisans to shift to other means of livelihood that promises a better standard of living.

Lack of finance and Government support has virtually crippled the handicraft sector which is gradually heading for its own extinction.

Although the Government did introduce a number of finance schemes, like Artisans Credit Card (ACC) in April 2005, to provide artisans with loan facilities; the national banks failed to properly channelize the allocated funds, leaving craftsmen to succumb to their miseries.

Now, after so many years of negligence, the Government has once again come to the assistance of these helpless craftsmen by introducing a new set of finance schemes under which carpet & shawl weavers, fur and garment manufacturers and a number of other artisans will be provided with adequate monetary support.

Under the name and style of JK Bank Craft Development Finance, artisans will be catered adequate and timely credit for comprehensive requirements in the shape of a term loan.

The scheme envisages an easy repayment period schedule, which includes moratorium of one to two months. The borrower has to repay the loan either in weekly, fortnightly or monthly installments within a period of two-and-a-half years depending upon the nature of activity.

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