Handicraft Artisans Brought Under ACC Scheme

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Srinagar, Sept 19: Minister for Industries and Commerce, Surjeet Singh Slathia today said that about 70,000 artisans of the district Srinagar associated with handicrafts and handlooms are being covered under Artisans Credit Card Scheme (ACCS) during the current fiscal.

The Scheme envisages providing loans to the artisans at meager 25 per cent interest without any mortgage or guarantee.

While speaking to a gathering of artisans at a function organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Handicrafts department in the premises of Indian Institute of Carpet Technology,(IICT) Bagh-e-Ali Mardan Khan, in down town here said ‘the government has made a tie-up with Jammu and Kashmir Bank for issuing ACCs to artisans aimed at to uplift their living standard as well as boosting the handicrafts and handloom sectors in a big way”.

He said the chief minister; Omar Abdullah at the 86th State Level Banker’s Committee (SLBC) meeting has given specific instructions for launching this Scheme for artisans. He said about 3000 ACCs will be distributed today and the scheme will be implemented in other districts of the State also.

The commissioner secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shant Manu, president Jammu and Kashmir Bank, B.A Lone, heads of various departments and PSUs under the administrative control of Industries and commerce and a large number of artisans were present on the occasion.

Reiterating governments’ resolve to uplift the socio- economic standard of the artisans and to make them economically self-reliant, Slathia announced that 60% of the premium for their health Insurance cover will be provided by the Government, He said about 40,000 modern looms will be provided to the artisans free of cost during the next five year plan adding that these measures are aimed at to give a fresh impetus to handicrafts and handloom activities in the State.

He said the Handicrafts is the Identity of Kashmir in the entire world.

“The modern looms have been designed by the experts of IICT and Craft Development Institute (CDI) and are very beneficial and comfortable as compared to traditional looms,” Slathia added.

He said after tourism, Handicrafts and Handloom sectors are important components of states’ economy.

Slathia advised the beneficiaries of the ACC Scheme to repay loan instalments regularly which is imperative for better Bank – customer relationship and a big confidence building measure (CBM ) between the two parties. He lauded the role of Jammu and Kashmir bank in re-construction and development of the State adding that its contribution in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is appreciable.

He urged the need for organizing awareness camps to educate artisans about various welfare schemes launched for their upliftment.

Director Jammu and Kashmir Handicrafts, Muzzafar Hussain in his welcome address gave a detailed account of the welfare Schemes in vogue for artisans and thanked the Jammu and Kashmir Bank management for their support in the implementation of the ACC Scheme. However, he pointed out that the role of some nationalized banks is not encouraging in this regard.

The president, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, B.A. Lone also spoke on the occasion and assured every possible support for the welfare of artisans and promotion of Handicrafts sector in the state.

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