SRINAGAR: Exports of world famous handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir fell to Rs 1,059 crore in 2015-16 financial year, from Rs 1,695 crore in 2013-14.

As per the figures released by Industries and Commerce Ministry, there has been a fall in exports while as the production has gone up.

As many as Rs 1,695.65 crore worth handicraft items have been exported out of production of items worth Rs 2,017.82 crores in 2013-14, while in 2014-15, Rs 1,287.04 crore handicraft items have been exported out of Rs 2175 crore concerning production, it said.

Similarly, in 2015-16, the exports further fell down to Rs 1,059.41 crore out of the total production which had gone up to Rs 2,234.15 crore in the year 2015-16, it added.

The handicrafts sector is by and large an unorganised sector providing employment to four lakh artisans, an officer of the Industries and Commerce Department said.

The artisans associated with the handicrafts are producing handicraft items by working either on full time or part time basis during the lean period of agriculture and farming activities, he said.

The government works for widening the artisan base, upgrading the skill of artisans, organizing exhibitions and trade fairs to facilitate easy loan to artisans from financial institutions for their self-reliance under artisan credit card scheme.

The government has paid Rs 52.36 crore as interest amount to the banks against sanctioned cases of artisans up to the end of November 2016, out of which Rs 31.59 crore have been provided during 2016-17.

Under the scheme, any registered artisan of the state can avail a loan up to Rs one lakh from the banks, the officer said.