The Centre has earmarked Rs 70 crore to support lace artisans.

This was disclosed after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, laid the foundation stone of the Rs 15.33-crore International Lace Trade Centre at Narasapuram in Andhra Pradesh.

Union Minister, Panabaaka Lakshmi, said that more than 80 per cent of the total production of lace in West and East Godavari is exported to the US, Europe and Japan.

The Ministry of Textiles is keen to encourage lace goods, artisans, weavers and entrepreneurs. The Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) has identified Narsapuram as one the clusters for the setting up of an International Lace Trade Centre.

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has been chosen as a nodal point for the operation of this centre.

Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH, has apprised the Chief Minister about the problems of the manufacturers and exporters with regard to VAT. He informed that the policy does not justify VAT on raw material of cotton lace goods.

He said about two lakh women artisans are involved in the production of this labour-intensive and employment generating products.

The Chief Minister has assured to look into the tax-related concerns of lace makers.

Narsapuram has about 40 exporters of lace products.

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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