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news details
Kashmir's vital sector fights for cold storage, promotion
11/19/2018 10:14:22 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Nov 19: With horticulture and handicrafts being the backbone of the state economy, the lack of cold storage and lack of promotion have been affecting these vital sectors adversely.
An official of horticulture department said that the horticulture, which is the main industry of Kashmir is facing many challenges.
"It is the harvesting season and the cold storage has to be developed in every district. Our main focus shall be on quality products so that there is more foreign export," the official said.
An official of Industries and Commerce Department said the handicrafts sector has gone slowly down due to multiple reasons.
"Around 2.5 lakh people are registered with the government who are associated with this sector. There has to be a policy how this sector will retain the employment of those who are associated with this sector," the official said.
A source within the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries said carpet industry is sick and has own burning issues, leading to its slow down.
"We have made a road map and given it to government about its revival measures. The government allocation of Rs 5 crore budget for marketing was not spent. We recently took this issue with commissioner sectary Industries and Commerce Department, who assured that there is a special proposal with the government for marketing and branding of handicrafts. Exhibitions and marketing events will be done for its promotion," the source said.
The source said that GST implementation has affected several sector and the handicrafts was its first victim.
"People could not understand how to do with the GST. The GST Council made so many amendments which indicate they were not aware the how does a layman know how to prepare for it. They made the amendments by reducing GST from 12 to 5 percent but we want it to be zero percent."
"Our shawls have a very high valley and over 80 percent cost by labour. The government has to keep it zero percent as this sector can't sustain in 12 or 18 percent. It also impacted our hotel industry. The GST rate on handicrafts and tourism must be brought down to zero."
He said that Kashmir's handicrafts known for manmade has been diminishing and the machine made products like shawls and carpets have taken over.
"There are number of elements who have been promoting the mis-branded items. Machines are involved in every sector as it costs 10 times low then handmade items. We are not against machine made but it shall be labeled whether this is machine made or handmade so that customers don't get cheated. We have to work for promotion of handmade industry," the source said.
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