The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 5 , 2014
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Handicraft, clothes export plan

- Efforts to revive units to boost art

Patna, Aug. 4: The state industries department is dreaming big about exporting handicraft and handloom items to other states and nations.

For this, it plans to revive the Bihar State Export Corporation, fill it up with handicraft and handloom experts and rename it Export Promotion Council.

Senior industry officials said the department would work in coordination with tourism officials to identify artists involved in trade and send their products to other states and countries thus giving Bihar a boost in revenue and publicity to the artists.

“Two corporations — the Bihar State Export Corporation and the Bihar State Handloom, Powerloom and Handicraft Corporation — are lying defunct for years now. The export corporation, if revived, can come as a boon for handicraft and handloom artists of the state.

The department wants to revive them. The help of other departments, such as tourism, will be sought,” said principal secretary, industries, Naveen Verma.

Industries minister Bhim Singh called it a good idea. “I cannot comment much as it is still in a nascent stage. But it is a good move by department officials and I will fully support it. The department will provide all help to revive the corporation,” he told The Telegraph.

Department sources said the nature of the corporation can be changed and it could be revived as an export promotion council for the handicrafts and handloom industry.

“The tourism department is interested in this sector’s development. Our department has records of artists and villages engaged in handloom and handicrafts. The departments can work together to revive the sector,” another department official said.

“The idea is to revive the corporation as a council exclusively for these sectors. Handloom and handicraft experts and artists will be included as council members. Experts from outside the state, involved in product marketing and exports, too can be roped in,” he further said.

Any product first needs a market for exports. Proper advertising and branding is needed for this.

The state government needs to do a lot of legwork before the products are ready for export.

Artists and their products should be properly identified. This is where the Bihar State Handloom, Powerloom and Handicraft Corporation — defunct since long — comes in.

Once revived, the corporation will bring the artists and their products to the forefront. They can provide the base for proper marketing and branding of products, the official said.

Work seems to have started. “A detailed proposal regarding the same will be made now and sent to the cabinet for approval. Work towards revival of both corporations has begun. The department hopes the revival plan will come as a gift for artists involved in the trade,” the official said.