Lifting of Shahtoosh Ban:Kashmir Inc Hails Parliament Panel Recommendation 

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Srinagar:  Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Inc) Monday welcome the parliamentary panel recommendation regarding lifting of ban on Shahtoosh.

President, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani said in a statement that KCC&I has been pleading with the Central Government ever since the imposition of ban, that the ban on shahtoosh has impact on the livelihood of thousands of artisans and weavers.

“The recommendation made by the panel have raised the hope of the large number of people connected with the trade had been deprived of the source of their sustenance with the ban on Shahtoosh processing and trade,”the statement said.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry urged  government of India to adopt recommendations given by the panel and help the Shahtoosh business move forward.

A parliamentary panel last week recommended lifting of ban on trading of Shahtoosh which is derived from Tibetan Antelope commonly known as Chiru, found mostly in mountainous ranges of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Parliamentary Panel on Environment and Climate Change in 300th report on the Demands for Grants (2017-2018) of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change suggested that the chiru should be reared and then local shawl makers should be allowed to collect the undercoat for making Shahtoosh shawls, also known as ‘king of shawls or Ring shawls’.

“This would not only increase the number of these animals, but also add to sustainable livelihood opportunities for the people in the region, as is being done by countries like China, Afghanistan and Mongolia,” reads the report submitted by  panel led by Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury.

The suggestion has come following the visit of panel members to JK where it found that as Chiru cannot be used for extraction of wool for Shahtoosh shawls as per the prevalent law and the alternate livelihoods promised by the State Government with the support of the environment ministry were not benefitting the affected community, particularly women.

“With J&K being a conflict-ridden region for quite a long time, many women are unable to leave their homes and go out and earn a livelihood under schemes being offered by the Government. Even as it empathized with the local shawl makers who said that they did not kill the animal because it was a source of their livelihood,” the report adds.

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