SRINAGAR: In a significant development, the Government of J&K has directed the SICOP authorities to hand over the custodianship and operations of Pashmina raw material bank to the Department of Handicrafts & Handloom (DH&H) Kashmir.
The Director Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah confirmed that this step has been taken to ensure hassle-free distribution of Pashmina raw material to the artisan and weaver community. The ready supply of Pashmina raw material shall help artisans and weavers to manufacture pashmina shawls mobilizing very little resources of their own.
The department is also organizing weavers and spinners in Cooperative societies and providing them financial assistance to procure raw material.
It may be reiterated that the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir has embarked upon the publicity and promotion of G I certified products and has strengthened the local spinning by conversion of many centres into Pashmina spinning centres along with the procurement of modern charkhas from SKUAST-K.
The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir has identified Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) Srinagar Campus for housing the raw material as the place is conveniently located in the craft concentrated area and the artisans/weavers can easily approach the place for procurement of the raw material.
It becomes imperative to mention that GOI has sanctioned Rs 2.00 crores for the procurement of Pashmina for artisans and weavers, now this amount can be utilized for the purpose it has been sanctioned.