KCC&I interacts with Parliamentary Standing Committee, apprise it of various issues

Urges govt to declare Kashmir Handicrafts as Special Economic Zone

Urges govt to declare Kashmir Handicrafts as Special Economic Zone

Srinagar, Aug 24 (KNS) The  Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry led by its President Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad and Farooq Amin had an interaction with the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the development of Handlooms, Handicrafts and welfare measures for the Weavers and Artisans and augmenting infrastructure facilities to boost exports in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
In a statement, issued to Kashmir News Service (KNS), a spokesperson said the KCC&I apprised the PSC that exporters are facing a lot of challenges and difficulties as regard to exports from the Kashmir region is concerned. 

“As we are at the fag end of India without logistic support as still, we have no dry port with the result export goods reach Delhi with higher fare rates resulting losing the competition at international level. So freight subsidies be given to exporters from Jammu & Kashmir as they can't compete with others who are close to ports. Kashmir has a geographical disadvantage in logistics in respect of road transport. In order to increase export and make our products competitive in the international market, there is need  to subsidize freight  both air and road,” the statement reads.

It reads that the State and Centre Government must come up with attractive schemes so that entrepreneurs, new educated, unemployed youth will attract towards this Export Industry.

“All handmade items should be exempted from taxes like GST. To preserve the livelihood of Weavers, Artisans, Traders, Exporters who  are involved in handmade Handicraft and also the famous art of Cottage Industry, the GST must be waived off on Pashmina Shawls, Carpets, Paper Machine, Crewel, Chain Stitch, Wood Carving.”

It reads that the Union Territory Government must come up with  Special Schemes for Exporters based on their performance and turnover basis. “Government should declare Special Scheme in which 10% incentives be given to the exporter yearly on performance and turnover basic to encourage the exporters and boost Kashmir Handicrafts.”

It reads that those Silk Carpets which contain more than  60% silk should be given 7% incentives in RODTEP Scheme to encourage and boost Silk Handmade Carpets in Kashmir.

“There should be a separate ITC (HS) code for Pashmina Shawls and verified by the competent testing laboratory. No capping should be placed on Pashmina Shawls or other value-added handicraft items under RODTEP Scheme.”

It also reads that Government should give all the benefits to Kashmir Handicrafts and declare it as Special Economic Zone and Warehousing Facility at the International Airport.

“The Department connected with the Exporters such as Banks, ECGC, DGFT does not provide the required awareness to the exporters. Government must promote Carpet Village/City in Sumbal, Sonawari where we have more than 20,000/- Artisans / Weavers available to be identified as Modal Carpet Village which is already existing as per Industrial land bank availability. 200 Kanals of land should be initially provided to manufacturers and exporters in an organised way and Stake Holders should be asked to apply online and submit relevant DPR as per their capacity.”

The statement reads that the infrastructure with this Carpet Village and City should be fully supported and incentivise in the form of 90:10 due to the present situation of the carpet business in Kashmir. “This Carpet Village should be installed with all Common Facility Centres wherein Design Development, Dying, Washing, Bank Facilities, Packing. To promote this Carpet Village wherein Carpet Manufacturers/ Exporters will come out with the new innovations and designs to cater the International Market.”

It reads that to give incentives like Export Subsidy to Silk Handmade Carpets which are exported at 10% from Jammu & Kashmir region as per Government Order No: 54-IND of 2020 Dated: 10-03-2020(Jammu and Kashmir Wool Processing, Handloom, Handicraft, Policy-2020). “As the declining of exports is worsening every year. It is requested to issue Public Notice for the above-said Incentive  given in the Policy so that manufacturers  and exporters  get encouraged.”

It reads that government must give support to the present manufacturer and exporter to sustain in this present turmoil as most of the accounts are either stressed or turned NPA’s.

“100% Freight Subsidy from Jammu & Kashmir to the relevant ports should be reimbursed as we are at the fag end of India.”

It also reads that till a few years back the office at Srinagar was being manned and managed by Joint Director (DGFT) and their problems and needs were being well attended thereby solving the said problems expeditiously. 

“Unfortunately now the office is being held by a junior officer which results in undue delay in solving of the problems. It is  requested  that a Joint Director General  be posted at Srinagar permanently.”

The statement reads that the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has felt the need of having Expo Marts for Handicrafts products and Carpets where they can exhibit their products to International Buyers.

“Inland Container Depo in  Kashmir will be created which will help our exporters to export directly from Srinagar and increase the products which we are exporting not only but also the volume of present export,” it reads. (KNS)

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