NEW DELHI: A total of 65 Exporters were awarded at the 19th Annual Exporters Awards , which was held at Le Meridean where The Union Textile Minister Dr. K.S Rao , CM Mrs. Shiela Dixit , Secretary of Textile Minstry Zohra Chatterjee.
Three Life Time Achievement Awards, two Special Commendation and one Institutional Award were also distributed for outstanding contribution towards promotion of Handicrafts Sector.
M/s C.L. Gupta Exports Ltd. of Moradabad got the top export award trophy for all Handicrafts for the year 2011-12. Mr. Sunil Sethi of Sunil Sethi Design Alliance was awarded Life Time Achievement award in his individual capacity. Mr. Sethi is also President of the Fashion Design Council of India. Mr. P. Subramanian of M/s Rani Arts & Crafts, Chennai and Mr. Haji Mohidin Ali of M/s Ali Brothers, Srinagar received the Life Time Achievement Award for their contribution to Handicrafts Sector..
Two special Commendation Awards were also given to Mrs. Christine E. Rai and Mr. C.S. Unni for their services to the Handicrafts Sector. An Institutional Award for Design & Product Development was bagged by National Centre for Design & Product Development (NCDPD) and jointly received by Mr. S.S. Gupta, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Mr.R.K. Srivastava, Executive Director – NCDPD.
The Minister of Textiles expressed that he will take up with concerned Ministries to link the scheme of MNREGA of the Govt. of India with the production of handicrafts so that economic benefits can add to the overall GDP of the country and also provide desired manpower to the sector as well as livelihood of the artisans.
Minister assured exporters that he will strongly take up with Ministry of Finance for better interest rate for the exporters of handicrafts through interest subvention scheme, waiver of service tax to the exporters of handicrafts to make it more competitive in the International Market. The Minister specifically quoted the prevailing highly subsidized interest rate in the other Asian countries. Further, in order to avoid ambiguity about classification of items as handicrafts, the Minister assured all possible help in getting the matter resolved by taking up the same with Central Board of Excise and Customs.
Chief Minister of Govt. of NCT Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dikshit who presided the function felt happy that 14 exporters from Delhi got export awards. Delhi plays a very significant role in promotion of handicrafts exports as Delhi region alone has more than 2700 handicrafts exporters who not only help themselves but also provide employment to others directly or indirectly. Chief Minister applauding the role of craftspersons for making intricate handicrafts expressed that her main passion is Handicrafts. She expressed confidence that exporters of Delhi region will continue to do better and better in exports and bring laurels to the region. She said that our Government will always be there to help them. She expressed great satisfaction on the role of EPCH in development of handicrafts sector.
Mrs. Panabaaka Lakshimi, Union Minster of State for Textiles reiterated the financial support offered by Ministry of Textiles in various projects for the Handicrafts sector in creation of infrastructure for production, design development and marketing of handicrafts in aggressive manner
Secretary Textiles Ms. Zohra Chatterji spoke about the initiative of creating Sector Skill Council for Handicrafts and Carpets so as to cater to the skill needs of the sector across various craft clusters and, thereby, increasing productivity. She also spoke about setting up of Textile Sector Innovation Council in order to understand and analyze the innovation quotient to identify the challenges and opportunities in the Textiles Sector.
Shri Lekhraj Maheshwari, Chairman, EPCH informed that the exports of Handicrafts during the period April – June, 2013-14 have registered a growth of 12.49% in US $ terms over the same period last year and have reached US $ 665.24 million. The growth in Rupee terms Is 16.78% and exports have touched Rs. 3720.52 crores. He further said, the export target for the year 2013-14 has been set at US $ 3842 million..
REPORT BY - Shruti Sharma & Anupam
PHOTOGRAPH - Tanuj