Kashmir Arts Business Houses meet buyers from 108 countries at Expo Mart in New Delhi

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‘The event can give a big boost to the ailing handicrafts sector of the valley’

New Delhi: Businesspersons, entrepreneurs and artisans from Kashmir are participating in the ongoing Expo Mart at Greater Noida in New Delhi. The Expo Mart is scheduled to go on for four days.

On the first day, local artisans and businessmen showcased traditional Kashmir Arts including shawls, carpets, wood carving and copper ware. Buyers and sellers from 108 countries will be participating in the event. Around 3,700 other business houses are also taking part in the buyer-seller meet.

Talking to Free Press Kashmir, the President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Javid Ahmed Tenga said that the event can give a big boost to the ailing handicrafts sector of the valley. However he added that since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the sector has bore further loses.

He said that the handicrafts sector should not come under the GST as the new tax regime is not beneficial for the sector at all.

“Yes, the handicrafts business is on a decline and it has gotten worse since the GST implementation as we have to the pay taxes at the source. We have time and again demanded that there should be zero percent tax on handicrafts so that the ailing sector can heave a sigh of relief,” said Tenga.

Participating in the event, the owner of Hamza Import and export, a srinagar based business firm, said, “This can be a great opportunity for business. This is the first day. Let us wait and watch how things turn out.”

Business-persons from the carpet industry said, that by participating in the event, they hope to move on the path to recovery, after the losses they have faced in the last few years.

“The carpet industry needs a big boost. So does wood carving and papermache, but weaving will almost be wiped off if steps are not taken. We have to bring change in what we sell, but there needs to be a policy of promotion. Modern business rules demand that a promotion campaign should compliment the items being sold. Great products can fall flat without proper marketing and promotion,” said a business-person from the carpet industry.

KCCI president Javid Tenga also added that the Chamber is planning buyer-seller meets in France and Russia in the near future. He also informed that such a meet will be held in Kashmir from 17-18 March.

“Going international is very important, however holding such events back home is equally important. So we are planning to hold a buyer-seller meet in Kashmir in March. We are expecting over 100 buyers in that meet,” he said.

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