Handicrafts & the Indian Economy

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India has always been a hub for everything handcrafted right from jewelry to clothing and small intricate show pieces to soft and colorful cushion covers. Handicrafts have always been important for the development of the Indian economy.

Handicrafts & the Indian Economy


Now, the Indian hand-made industry is on its way to achieving the status that it has been denied for decades. For centuries the Indian subcontinent is known for handcrafted items manufactured by labor intensive techniques. Indian artisans are skilled people who have mastered the art of working on wood, shells, clay, stones and rocks and metal, etc. India is the manufacturer of various kinds of handmade products such as:

      Wooden and terracotta jewelry
      Bamboo Handicrafts
      Cane Handicrafts
      Bell Metal Handicrafts
      Bone and Horn crafts
      Brass Handicrafts
      Clay products or Pottery
      Dhokra Handicrafts
      Jute items and crafts
      Paper Handicrafts
      Rock and stone Handicrafts
      Shell Handicraft
      Silver Filigree or Meenakari or Tarakashi Handicrafts
      Hand weaving or Embroidery
      Wood Handicrafts

The rural parts of the country in particular stand to gain a lot from this sector because it is highly labor intensive. This is beneficial for the country as a sizeable section of population here is unemployed. 

The ongoing globalization trends though in favor of many industries do not favor the handmade goods sector as there is quite a bit of competition that they have to face from machine made produce that is insanely low cost. These substitutes are the immediate choice of consumers worldwide due to their wide availability. The handmade goods industry offers higher returns at lower cost and the Indian Government is working to provide maximum assistance to artisans at minimum cost. This is expected to help them garner sustainable growth in the long run and increase employment opportunities.

This is also a great source of foreign exchange and overall socio economic development after agriculture. This is especially true because Indian handicrafts have been admired internationally for their sheer attention to detail and brilliance and finish. The stunning mix of colors and textures further adds to its exquisite appeal. Indian craftsmanship encompasses handmade clothing, crochet, jewelry of all kinds, for both men and women, handmade knitted items and decorative pieces of numerous kinds and the list just goes on. Right now, rurally located units and small scale cottage industries in the country are the main contributors of handicrafts produced in India with a share of about 78%. Close to 76% of the artisans in the country are self employed and both men and women involved in the production of these goods now seek to export their products to countries like the US, UK, Europe and Australia. 

According to studies, demand of such items is continuously growing in the international markets and their overall exports are expected to surpass $400 million by 2017. As I said earlier, being labor intensive the handmade goods sector could help in reduction of unemployment and the average wage of the creator here is far more than what one earns in agriculture and its allied sector. India is not the only country that stands to gain out of promoting its handicrafts industry. It is evident from numerous researches that countries like China and many parts and provinces of Africa too can benefit from this as it promises enhanced social and financial status everywhere. Therefore, what we need is significant attempts at innovations and introduction to modern technology in the handicrafts field which would eventually lead to a better and more flourishing economy.

The promotional efforts undertaken by the ministry showed a growth of 18.25% for the period of April-September 2016 which is a staggering Rs. 13,005.35 crore. According to reports by Indian governmental authorities handicrafts exports are expected to grow to Rs. 23,560 crore in the year 2016-17. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts Executive Director Rakesh Kumar stressed on promoting these goods to markets in the US, Europe, Latin America and The Middle East as they show better prospects. 

To further improve exports the government has decided to enhance duty benefits for the artisan community. The council is also participating in 30 to 35 exhibitions and fairs oversees every year to promote Indian handmade goods in the international markets. These participations will prove beneficial in promoting a healthy and positive image of the Indian handicrafts industry.

Talking about duty benefits, there are 63 handmade items that are going to boost exports. These include candles, handbags, shopping bags, handmade wooden frames for mirrors and photos and handmade paper and shawls and mufflers, etc. The rates of these items and more have been amended under the MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) according to a statement made by the director general of foreign trade. 

Time holds a brighter future for the handmade goods sector in India and the promise of improved employment opportunities is a chance for everyone to live a more complete and rewarding life.

Author Bio
Hi I am John Miller. I love and live for everything artistic. My only crime is that I observe too much and then make sure to write it down before I forget all about it. I am a quality manager at Artisna Market place.

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