CS assesses promotion plans for Handicrafts, MSMEs in J&K

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SRINAGAR : Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, today had an overview of the prospective plans for large scale promotion of Handicrafts and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jammu and Kashmir in collaboration with the World Bank. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Finance; Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce; Secretary, Revenue;  MD, JKTPO; Director Handloom and Handicrafts, Jammu and Kashmir; MD, SIDCO and other concerned officers.

The Chief Secretary had a detailed review of broad counters of the proposals prepared by the concerned department in this regard while reflecting certain observations regarding each component proposed in these plans. He appreciated the exercises carried out by the respective heads in preparing these mega plan proposals to be taken-up with the World Bank for consideration.

Dulloo also asked for further fine tuning of these plans in light of the feedback given by the participants during the meeting. He called for conducting micro-analysis of each proposed activity for enhancing its efficacy and acceptability as per international standards. He further asked for carrying out consultations with other genuine stakeholders to add more perspectives into the plan. He stressed on laying focus on introduction of modern technology, new designs, skill upgradation, credit linkages, marketing interventions while formulating their plans. Moreover, he asked for making economy, ecology and equity the hallmarks of such proposals to elevate their approval rates for one and all.

In a presentation, the Director Handicrafts, Kashmir, threw light on the current challenges being faced by the artisans of J&K, erstwhile popularity of these crafts and issues faced in their growth besides highlighting the previous initiatives taken by the government and the proposed interventions to be taken up in collaboration with the international body.

Among the possible interventions suggested on the occasion included establishment of Common Facilitation Centres (CFCs) for the artisans where they can work under one roof with provisions of all the basic amenities. Besides, other measures proposed were testing and certification centres, on-boarding on e-commerce platforms, collaboration with international brands, skill development and upgradation, extending credit facilities, establishing trade centres, participation in trade fairs/exhibitions while observing Environment Social Responsibility (ESR) throughout the entire process.

While elucidating the strategic investment plan under Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP), the MD, JKTPO  gave an overview of MSME sector followed by elaboration of salient features of the RAMP Programme. He also apprised the meeting of the baseline survey of MSME in J&K, stakeholder consultations and value chain assessments carried out under this programme.

Regarding the Industrial base, it was informed that there are around 7.09 lakh MSMEs here which comprises of 7.05 lakh micro, 4500 small and 290 medium enterprises contributing nearly 8 percent of GDP to the UT. It was added that nearly 40,000 weavers and 3.78 lakh craftsmen and artisans are employed in Handloom and Handicraft sector and there has been an increase of 173 percent in importer-exporter registrations in the last financial year.

The interventions proposed for its promotion included formalization of MSME sector, interest subvention for stressed MSMEs, CGTMSE annual guarantee fee coverage, penetration of digital financing for MSMEs, branding, packaging and publicity of ODOP/GI products of J&K, arranging buyer-seller meets, raw material and inventory management, entrepreneurship and skill development besides other measures beneficial for this sector in the UT.