March 2020 News

J&K Handicrafts, Handloom Development Departments To Be Merged

20 March 2020

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday approved merger of Handicrafts Department and Handloom Development Department. The decision to merge the departments was taken at the Administrative Council (AC) meet here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu, an official spokesman said. As a result of the merger, there would be a single department of J&K Handicrafts and Handloom, with two directorates at divisional level for Kashmir and Jammu. Besides, there would be eight regional deputy directorates at Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla and Bandipora in Kashmir and Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri and Doda in Jammu division, the spokesman said. The two sectors present viable socio-economic activity and are major foreign exchange earner, but had remained poorly organised with little access to welfare and credit schemes. 'The decision is aimed at augmenting the resources and manpower and to bring synergy in the activities of the two sectors. It will also address challenges like lack of brand image, bulk production capacity, enforcement wing to check fake products, absence of e-marketing and stiff competition and threat from machine and power-loom products,' he said. The decision to merge the two departments is in line with government's initiative of 'minimum government with maximum governance', he added. 'It will avoid duplication of interventions, job profiles and activities meant for helping crafts and weavers. It will also help in establishing raw material and yarn banks, branding of hand made products through GI tagging, exploring new markets at global level, focussing craft tourism, craft villages, design innovation, capacity building and infrastructure-technology support,' the spokesman said. The Administrative Council also approved merger of J&K Handicraft Corporation and J&K Handloom Development Corporation into J&K Handloom and Handicrafts Marketing Corporation (JKHHMC), and transfer of showrooms of JK Industries to the new Corporation. The merger would bring in efficiency, accountability and transparency in working of these Corporations, he said. 'With this move, the marketing activity related to local crafts of various Corporations shall be combined under a single umbrella Corporation,' he said. The staff and assets of the Corporations would be merged into JKHHMC for effective convergence and marketing, while the showrooms will collectively be used for marketing and to sell products of the three organizations. The Administrative Council also approved the constitution of a committee to be headed by Administrative Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department to work out the modalities of the merger and amalgamation of the staff of the two Corporations, the spokesman said.