About 70,000 artisans in Jammu and Kashmir will be covered under the Artisans Credit Card (ACC) scheme during the current fiscal, to provide them loans at a meagre interest of two per cent without any mortgage or guarantee.

The State Government has collaborated with Jammu and Kashmir Bank for issuing ACCs to artisans, which is aimed at uplifting their living standard as well as boosting the handicrafts and handloom sectors in a big way.

“Handicrafts are the identity of Kashmir in the entire world. The modern looms have been designed by the experts of IICT and Craft Development Institute (CDI) and are very beneficial and comfortable as compared to traditional looms,” state Industries and Commerce minister S.S Slathia said here in a function organised by J&K Handicrafts department yesterday.

S.S Slathia announced a 60 per cent premium for their health insurance cover will be provided by the government.

About 40,000 modern looms will be provided to the artisans free of cost during the next five year plan, he said, adding that these measures are aimed to give a fresh impetus to handicrafts and handloom activities in the state.

Handicrafts and handloom sectors are important components of the state’s economy besides tourism. S.S Slathia urged the need for organising awareness camps to educate artisans about various welfare schemes launched for their upliftment.

Lauding the role of J&K Bank in re-construction and development of the state, S.S Slathia said the bank’s contribution in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is appreciable.

(This article was published on September 20, 2012)
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