The Gujarat government has announced its first-ever 'Cottage and Rural Industries Policy-2016' with emphasis on building an ecosystem to boost the industry and to provide more employment opportunities to the artisans engaged in traditional crafts.
Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, who also holds the Cottage Industry portfolio, said it is also aimed at preserving the traditional crafts and enhance their marketability through skill development and financial support. "Under this new policy, we will identify those crafts which are falling behind due to unavailability of market.
Government will provide support in terms of training, marketing, branding and design development. We will also bring such artisans under various social security schemes," he said. The government will set up a design studio, where artisans will be imparted training by experts from the National Institute of Design (NID), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and CEPT, stated the policy document.
The Tourism Department will work in co-ordination with Industries Department to set up stalls of village crafts at various state-sponsored festivals, Patel said, adding, the policy will remain in effect till 2021. "To attract youths to this industry, we have made a provision of cash awards ranging from of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.51 lakh for 'Best Young Artisan', 'Best Female Artisan' and Best Artisan of Languishing Craft'," Patel said.
Other provisions include a venture capital fund for new entrepreneurs, encouraging start-ups in the sector, subsidy for purchasing tools, e-commence websites to sell the products, a crafts museum and a raw material bank for selected craft products.