Help Indian artisans access global markets: Nirmala to luxury cos
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked the luxury industry to recognise the work of Indian artisans and help them in accessing global markets.
She expressed pain that "wonderful" artisans are standing in queues for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) scheme to get minimum wages.
"It pains me to say this. I purposely say this to this audience...Luxury industry will have to identify them from various pockets in India and give them their due recognition," she said.
She was addressing industry leaders at the Luxury Symposium 2017 here.
The minister said that government alone would not be able to help the craftsmen and the domestic industry needs to extend its support.
"It is possible for the luxury industry to promote products of artisans...They need recognition and this industry today is well poised to bridge the gap between artisans and market," she added.
Sitharaman appealed to the industry players to come forward and engage with the artisans.
She said the industry is rapidly growing in India and as per a study, the market size of the sector would touch $100 billion in eight years from the current $7-8 billion.
"We need to put in lot of attention for this sector and facilitate and ensure that it really fits into Make in India," she added. Citing another report of 2014, the minister said globally the industry size is $2 trillion, of which 30 per cent comes from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
India is the only country among these five that is growing at over 7.2 per cent, she said, adding that the growth rate will be sustained at 7 per cent and above.