Handicraft exports up 22 percent in FY'13

Despite uncertainty in EU market, India's handicraft exports have shown a growth of 22.15 percent to USD 3.30 billion in 2012-13, the nodal agency for promotion of exports of handicrafts products said Friday.

"On account of good demand from US and the new markets new markets like China, Latin America, Africa, our handicrafts exports, in 2012-13, have shown an increase of USD 599.24 millions from 2.7 billion to 3.3 billion i.e. the exports increased by 22.15 percent over the similar period in 2011-12," said Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Vice-Chairman Arshad Mir told media at a press conference in New Delhi.

Among the items that registered increase during 2012-13, imitation jewellery saw the highest growth of about 56 percent, followed by shawls as artwares 55.5 percent, woodwares 55 percent, hand printed textiles and scarves 19 percent.

Arshad also told reporters that the sector did well in last fiscal and so has over achieved the set exports target of USD 3.3 million for the year 2012-13. The council expects handicraft exports to grow by 20 percent in FY 2013-14 despite uncertainty in European markets.

When asked about the sector's expectations from the upcoming Foreign Trade Policy to be announced on April 18, EPCH Director, R.K. Verma said, "As cost of credit has become a big cause of worry, we are hopeful that the Government will increase the interest subvention rate from 2 percent to 5 percent and extend the scheme for at least five years."

The interest subsidy scheme, which was to end on March 2013, has been extended for one more year.

EPCH is the nodal export promotion body for handicrafts in India and plays an important role of a catalyst between the exporters, buyers and the Government with the main objective of boosting trade in handicrafts and also project India's image in the global market as a reliable supplier.