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‘Administrative Council approves merger of Handicrafts and Handloom Depts’

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‘Restructuring to increase efficiency with one Director each in Jammu and Srinagar’

JAMMU, MARCH 19: In a significant decision, the Administrative Council (AC) which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu accorded approval to the merger of J&K Handicraft (S&E) Corporation and J&K Handloom Development Corporation into J&K Handloom and Handicrafts Marketing Corporation (JKHHMC) and transfer of showrooms of JK Industries to the new Corporation.

As a result of the merger, now there shall be a single department of J&K Handicrafts and Handloom, with two directorates at the Divisional level, for Kashmir and Jammu. Besides, there shall be eight Regional Deputy Directorates, at Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla and Bandipora in Kashmir and Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri and Doda in Jammu division.

The two sectors present a viable socio-economic activity and a major foreign exchange earner, yet the areas had remained poorly organized with little access to welfare/credit schemes. The decision is aimed at augmenting the resources and manpower and to bring synergy in the activities of the two sectors. It will also address challenges like lack of brand image, bulk production capacity, enforcement wing to check fake products, absence of e-marketing, stiff competition/ threat from machine and power-loom products etc.

The decision to merge the two departments is in line with the initiative of minimum government with maximum governance. It will avoid duplication of interventions, job profiles and activities meant for helping crafts and weavers. It will also help in establishing raw material and yarn banks, branding of hand made products through GI Tagging, exploring new markets at global level, focussing craft tourism, craft villages, design innovation, capacity building and infrastructure/ technology support.

The decision of the merger shall bring in efficiency, accountability, transparency in the working of these Corporations. It shall also augment the resources and manpower of the Corporations to bring in synergy and to adopt a target oriented approach for effective marketing of Handloom and Handicrafts products. With this move, the marketing activity related to local crafts of various Corporations shall be combined under a single umbrella Corporation.

All staff and assets of the Corporations shall be merged into JKHHMC for effective convergence and marketing, while the showrooms shall collectively be used for marketing and sale of products of the three organizations.

The Administrative Council also approved the constitution of a Committee to be headed by Administrative Secretary, Industries & Commerce Department to work out the modalities of the merger and amalgamation of the staff of the two Corporations.

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