Dr. Kavuru Samba Siva Rao, the Minister of Textiles today chaired a meeting with the members of All India Handicrafts Board comprising of officials from different Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments, apart from the non-official members with diverse backgrounds and experiences representing almost all States of the country.
Addressing the members the Minister outlined various initiative of the Ministry for a comprehensive and sustainable development of the craft sector in the country. He specifically mentioned about the difficult times our economy is going through at present on account of first the economic slow-down in the developed world and secondly on account of recent hardening of the US Dollar against the Indian currency. This has impacted all sectors of our economy including the handicraft sector. He however, assured the gathering that the Government is committed to do all it can to bring about visible changes for the people and sectors affected.
While outlining the present initiatives of the Government in the craft sector, the Minister remarked that for the 12th Plan, the Government has articulated a vision which aims to create a globally competitive Handicrafts Sector and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the artisans through innovative products designs, improvement in product quality, introduction of modern technology and preserving traditions. While the 12th Plan proposals are under various stages of appraisal/approval, he mentioned that many new initiatives are in the pipeline and they will be rolled out soon after the schemes are approved. He hoped for a better future for the craft sector both in the domestic and International markets.
Speaking on the occasion Smt. Panaabaka Laxmi, the Minister of State for Textiles outlined the ministries resolve to do the best possible for servicing this unorganized sector where the artisans, predominantly in the rural areas, derive their substance.
Smt. Zohra Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles remarked about the Ministry’s resolve to further strengthen and consolidate the government’s efforts towards an enhanced level of economic growth of the artisanal community in the country.
Shri S.S. Gupta, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) expressing his gratitude to the Members of the Board remarked that their continued feedback and suggestions would enable the Ministry to further align and focus various programmes and initiatives in future so as to ensure that the artisanal community in the country and other stakeholders in the sector work jointly for the common goal of bringing Indian handicrafts to each home not only in our country but in other several countries of the world.
The Board performs an advisory role whereby during such interactions, the Ministry of Textiles receives various useful suggestions aimed at ameliorating the problems and concerns of the crafts sector.