Known for its hand-woven carpets around the world, Bhadohi received a major boost as the government has extended the ‘export excellence’ tag to it.
Under the ‘Towns of Export Excellence’ tag, carpet makers of the city will get financial assistance from the Central government to procure modern machines, improve export infrastructure, and organise fairs and exhibitions in different parts of the world to attract global buyers.
The status was granted by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the commerce ministry, an official said. Bhadohi, small township situated on the banks the river Ganges, will be the 37th town to get this status.
“This was a long pending demand of carpet manufacturers of Bhadohi. It will give a real boost to the sector, where lakhs of small artisans are engage in this work. The tag would help put the carpet city on the world map,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said.
He said that the move should help small artisans and weavers, and the incentives should not be limited to big players of the sector.
The domestic industry, which is facing tough competition from countries including China, would avail incentives under this tag to promote its growth and exports, he added.
The other cities which got this status include Tirupur, Ludhiana, Kanoor, Karur, Dewas, Indore, Bhilwara, Surat, Kanpur, Ambur, Jaipur and Srinagar.
The local industry players of Bhadohi hailed the government’s decision, saying that the move would help to further improve the quality of the product and explore new markets.
“Currently, the share of India’s hand-woven carpets in the world is 30 per cent and we want to increase it to 50 per cent by 2022. Such initiatives by the government will help us in achieving our target,” Bholanath Baranwal, carpet exporter from Bhadohi, said.
Baranwal, who is also President of Eastern UP Exporters Association and All India Carpet Trade Fair Committee, said that the decision is “moral booster” for the industry.
He also sought attention of the government in improving infrastructure at ports and roads to reduce transactions cost of exporters.
In Bhadohi, over 2,000 exporters and 5,000 small manufacturers are engaged in the sector. At the national level, the sector employs about 25 lakh people.
According to the policy, selected towns, producing goods worth Rs 750 crore or more gets this tag based on potential for growth in exports. The threshold limit for towns producing items in handloom, handicraft, agriculture and fisheries sector, is only Rs 150 crore.
The incentives given to these towns include financial assistance under the Market Access Initiative Scheme; common service providers in these areas are entitled for Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme; and financial support to develop export infrastructure.