Traders’ body in Kashmir opposes GoI’s move for Pashmina production in UP

Srinagar: Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashmir (CCIK) on Saturday expressed serious concern over the tie-up of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) of India with Khadi institutions from Varanasi and Ghazipur districts in Uttar Pradesh for processing raw Pashmina wool.

In a statement, CCIK President Tariq Rashid Ghani said that with this initiative the Pashmina wool products of Leh-Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir will now be woven in Varanasi which will affect the livelihood of many artisans from Kashmir and Ladakh.

He said the art is unique and indigenous with Kashmir and skilling outside JK artisans with the art will have severe consequences on its originality and also affect local artisans.

CCIK has urged the Lieutenant Governor administration of Jammu and Kashmir to prevail upon the KVIC India for reconsidering the decision.

“Earlier also the ban on Shahtoosh affected Kashmir’s industry and now skilling outside JK artisans with our unique art of Pashmina wool will affect the handicraft industry badly,” the statement said.

Ghani said the Khadi institutions of Varanasi have purchased 500 KG of raw Pashmina wool from Leh recently and brought it to Delhi for processing.

“The huge quantity of raw wool export will hit our industry and needs to be processed in Leh and Kashmir only to boost our own trade and help artisans,” he said.

We appeal to LG of Ladakh and LG of JK to immediately look into the matter and save the industry, the statement concludes.

Earlier, the KVIC India said that it has roped in four Khadi institutions from Varanasi and Ghazipur districts of Uttar Pradesh for processing raw Pashmina wool and weaving it further into the woolen fabric.

“The globally acclaimed Pashmina wool products, which are indigenous to the high altitude regions of Leh-Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, will now be made in Varanasi also,” the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, (MSME) India said.

Pashmina weaving in Varanasi will commence from January next year and 20 Khadi artisans will be given 30-day training in weaving, the statement said, adding, about 200 kg of Pashmina wool processed in Delhi will be supplied to artisans in Leh by the first week of December.

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