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E-commerce platform for artisans in India’s Kashmir

The government in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state is introducing an e-commerce platform for artisans and weavers to boost export of handicrafts and handloom products and to reduce the role of middlemen in transactions that often leads to exploitation, state industries and commerce minister Chander Parkash Ganga recently informed the legislative assembly.

Under the Artisan Credit Card (ACC) scheme involving an interest subsidy of Rs 62.36 crore, 44,414 artisans have been covered, he said. Artisans received loans worth Rs 375 crore till November 2017.

ACC scheme offers convenient and soft credit facilities to artisans, weavers, members of cooperative societies and craftsmen to start their independent ventures. Out of the four lakh handicraft artisans in the state, 1,67,476 are registered and 2,32,524 un-registered., according to a news agency report.

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The state government provides interest subsidy at the rate of 10 per cent on the loan over a period of five years, the minister said.

During 2017-18, allocation and targets have been enhanced to Rs 81.82 crore and 4,125 units compared to the previous year’s figures of Rs 42.52 crore and 2,127 units, he said.

To coordinate carpet design activities, a design bank would be created at a cost of Rs 1 crore.

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