The Government of India may launch ‘Handmade in India’ brand to boost online sales of niche handloom, handicrafts and khadi products, as the same has been recommended by the Planning Commission.
In its “Draft Consultation Paper on Handlooms” submitted to the Government, the Planning Commission has suggested that handloom products must be branded and marketed to niche markets to clients who appreciate the value of hand made products and are willing to pay for them. “Modern tools like e-commerce must be leveraged to brand and market ‘Handmade in India’, adds the paper.
Criticising the Government’s approach to adopt more and more clusters in the sector, the draft paper seeks review of the approach and asks the Government to focus on identified heritage clusters across the country so as to transform them into vibrant self-sustaining hubs. “This would be done on an intensive basis in areas such as design and development, technology up gradation, infrastructure development, adequate and quality raw material supply, credit and strong market linkages,” said the Planning Commission.
The Commission has also proposed a new Handloom policy encompassing long-term vision and comprehensive strategy, in which the central pillar would be Marketing Support and Design Innovations supported by appropriate technology, which would ultimately lead to better livelihood and therefore, better living standard of the weavers.
Stressing on the need for a robust Social Security mechanism, the draft paper says that the operational mechanism of the Health Insurance Scheme (HIS), now merged with the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) of Ministry of Labour, should ensure proper reach of the implementing insurance company enabling the enrolled weavers’ families to get cashless OPD/IPD facilities close to, if not at their door step.
Lastly, the draft paper suggests periodic review of all schemes, and amending or repeal of redundant provisions, procedures, guidelines and Acts. (RKS)