Certification and labelling of handmade carpets

It is a matter of pride that India is one of the largest producers of handmade carpets as also exporters of the world. We export 90 percent of carpets produced in India in which the carpets produced in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir have a good percentage as such carpets, especially famous Kashmiri carpets , are exported to as many as 25 countries . A mega carpet village to come up is in the offing in the UT to give a focussed impetus to the carpet industry to flourish. It is expected that just within the next four to five years , with the conducive demand horizon and supporting measures provided by the UT Government shall result in total value of exports to increase and touch more than Rs.2000 crore . However, having said all that, still both in national and international markets , there is not only cost competitiveness but also of design , texture , quality and standard. Our carpets must be such that they withstand and steer smoothly the stiff competition in the international markets so much that the international customers are left in awe looking to the beauty of these carpets. Normally , carpet weaving industry is labour intensive in respect of traditional carpet weaving which are handmade hence good measure of employment is in this industry at various stages right from making to marketability.
However, certain measures by way of some degree of protectionism is required to be imparted to this traditional cottage industry so far as marketability and incentives on exports are concerned. In this connection, it is quite satisfying to note that the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir has been taking slew of measures from time to time in lending Governmental support just for example in the case of world famous saffron gown in UT’s Kashmir and Kishtwar areas by according to it GI tag indicating specific geographical origin , qualities and reputation that are due to that origin . In the same way, the UT Government has now taken yet another step aimed at promoting the marketability of the handmade carpets of Jammu and Kashmir by launching the ”first of its kind” QR-based mechanism for certification and labelling of handmade carpets produced here. Such certification shall put to rest any doubts or speculations in matters of quality , content, texture, sheen and the standard of these carpets besides the confirmation that they are handmade for which, this part of the country is known for superb designing and workmanship.
Needless to add, such certification by the Government cannot be treated as of some mean import since it is all concerned about the very premise and basis of customers’ propensity to purchase – that of due and assured authenticity of such carpets . Such a stimulus to the traditional core cottage industry is , as claimed , the first of its kind in the country, perhaps , again due to peculiar speciality of this industry of Jammu and Kashmir. It is no denying the fact that though sporadically , many a time, there could sprout instances of duplicity to the extent of cheating under the notion of one time sale but one time ”windfall” which this certification shall help in pre-empting and obliterating. Since UT carpets are known for knots speciality , the QR based label will capture vital parameters of the carpet such as GI user , hand tufting, manufacturer details , knots per square inch, material used and the texture as also standardising the uniqueness of such carpets.
It is but natural that such pragmatic decision of the UT Government should be welcome by all the stakeholders in the carpet industry and a scenario short of somewhat of a gloom infesting the marketability of handmade carpets of Jammu and Kashmir due to host of reasons , especially for two years on account of COVID virus pandemic , can be over due to such certification. That the UT Government is incessantly introducing one or the other innovative measures to boost trade, industry and tourism needs to be underlined and properly reciprocated by owning and implementing these measures in letter and spirit. When the toil of the working persons get ”mixed” with the support of the Government , it produces wonderful results and traditional home and cottage industries like the one under reference, can surely progress and flourish spreading economic prosperity.