Handicraft exports to reach 23,560 cr in 2016-17: EPCH
The export of Indian handicrafts is likely to witness a 10 per cent jump to reach 23,560 crore in 2016-17 as a result of increased demand in traditional and new markets, according to Exports Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).
The council has noticed that the demand in regions like US, Europe, Latin America and Middle East is picking up which can lead to healthy recording of exports.
The exports have recorded a rise of 18.25 per cent year-on-year to Rs 13,005.35 crore in the financial quarter of April-September 2016.
According to Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH, the rise in demand has been augmented by the promotional efforts being made in the aforesaid markets. Kumar also highlighted seeking enhanced duty benefits for the sector as a way to increase handicraft exports.
With regard to a query from the correspondent of The Dollar Business, as to what kind of duty benefits is EPCH seeking from the government, Rakesh Kumar replied, “Our exports should not carry any duty and should be free from taxes. This is our mandate and we are meeting the Finance Minister today to discuss the matter under GST”.
Further talking about the steps taken by EPCH to increase handicrafts exports, he highlighted that “the council is adopting a three-pronged approach – the product, market, and promotional activities. With regard to product, we are promoting design, packaging and the compliances. In terms of markets, we are entering new markets except the traditional ones that have already been targeted. In the traditional markets too, we are trying to reach new regions. Earlier we were only confined to gift items, but now we are moving to find buyers for home, lifestyle and furniture as well.”
Rakesh also revealed the possibility of coming up with a common facility centre at the production level to help artisans with all the required services.
He noted creating awareness about compliance issues through various seminars and other means as a subject of prime concern for the council. The council is also making efforts in terms of being a part of around 30-35 exhibitions and fairs annually to promote the handicrafts items in global markets.
He reiterated the fact that the participation covers both the traditional and non- traditional markets as it is important to create awareness in all the regions and not just the established regions. The same is necessary to create a brand image of the sector, thus leading to securing a substantial amount of business.