'Handicrafts sector provides large scale employment'
The 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida, started with full throttle and the energy was fuelled when Giriraj Singh, Minister of State for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (independent charge) paid a visit on the first day ie October 12, of the fair.
During his speech, Giriraj Singh emphasised the importance of handicraft sector as one of the largest employment provider in the country, with majority of the micro, small and medium industries being engaged in handicraft and allied sectors. He further extolled the handicraft sector for generating a large number of jobs with relatively much lower investments, compared to large industry sectors.
The Minister expressed the need of coordinated efforts amongst stakeholders in handicraft sector to increase the market share of India in the global handicraft exports, currently standing at meagre 5 per cent, despite the consumer demand showing an upward trend over a period of time.
Giriraj Singh lauded the efforts of Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH) for organising the mega event in Greater Noida, wherein more than 3000 participants are displaying their products. In addition, the Minister appreciated EPCH for enabling small artisans with market linkage opportunities at the IHGF-Delhi Fair. He also appealed EPCH to extend its role into the social security of poor artisans, by donating Rs 1 per person per month.
Towards the end of his speech, the Minister lauded the 'Mudra Scheme' launched by the Prime Minister for extending business financing benefits to more than nine crores of micro-level entrepreneurs of the country.