INDIA: Handloom & handicraft sector in dismal mode
As per the official records of Handloom department there are more than 37,000 looms installed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir out of which 70 percent are installed in Kashmir Valley. The main products woven on the looms are tweed and Pashmina shawls,
Other products include, blankets with different motiffs and colours, kani jamawar shawls in the woolen sector and in addition carpet weaving is a cottage industry in Kashmir Valley. The hand made carpets are woven on looms and usually silk and woolen materials are used.
Production of wool in the state is 2 million Kg’s out of which 25-30 percent is consumed in the state and rest is sent out to other states of the country. Wool worsted suitings are manufactured from finest grade of wool and hosiery products from coarse grades.
The recent global melt down has had a telling effect on the handloom and handicraft industry of the state which is worth an estimated Rs 10 billion. As per, industry sources, sale of handlooms and carpets has come down by more than 80 and 50 percent respectively.
The merchants and handicraft traders have piled up huge inventories as a result of dwindling demand and reports have been received regarding non payment of wages to the artisans as a result of which handicraft and handloom industry is in a bad shape.
The artisans living in rural and urban areas of the state have suffered adversely by the global meltdown and in the coming months, the position is expected to deteriorate further, considering that the economy is not expected to improve in the next few months.
Added: March 3, 2009 Source: Agencies