Weavers & Exporters Hope Manifold Growth as Kashmiri Carpets Get QR Code GI Tag, IICT has introduced QR Code based mechanism, first of its kind in the country
Move to discourage counterfeit production of Kashmiri Carpets, Kashmiri Hand-knotted carpets got GI Tag in June 2016
New Delhi, Friday, 11th March:2022 The Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) in Collaboration with the Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir conducted a seminar on ‘Introduction of QR Code based Geographical Indication – GI tag’ for Kashmir Hand – Knotted Carpet. Mr. Umar Hameed, Chairman, CEPC in his address said, “It is an initiative that will go a long way in transforming and preserving the future of carpet industry in Jammu & Kashmir. Customers now could easily differentiate and verify the authenticity and other specific details of hand-knotted Kashmiri carpets made in Jammu & Kashmir. The QR Code-attached registered logo stamped on the secured fusion label, possessing requisite covert and overt information, is to be embossed on duly tested/certified carpet so that label cannot be copied/misused. It will discourage the counterfeit productions of carpets that cost the livelihood of weavers’ community and the industry as well.”
It is to be noted that the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Govt of India) granted GI Tag to Kashmiri Carpets in June 2016. Mr. Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Director, Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir, Govt. of J&K, stated, “The QR code attached to the GI Tag will help in reviving the sheen and glory of Kashmiri Carpet Industry by certifying the genuineness of the Hand-knotted Kashmir Carpets with relevant information of the manufacturer, weaver, district, raw material etc.
This innovation will go a long way in preserving the quality of Hand knotted carpets. Eventually, it would boost exports as they would be treated at par with the quality/price of Iranian and Turkish Hand knotted carpets. Mr. Ranjan Prakash Thakur, IRTS, Principal Secretary, Govt. Industries and Commerce, Govt. of J&K joimed the seminar virtually and flagged off the first GI Tag Shipment of M/s Ferozson Exports Pvt. Ltd., Srinagar for Germany. Mr. Thakur mentioned that this is the first step in the direction of authentication of hand-knotted Kashmir carpet the Journey will create new mile stone in the history of Hand knotted Kashmir Carpets. Emphasizing upon the importance of this initiative, he stated, ” the QR code-based mechanism will help in checking the duplicity or fake branding sabotaging the growth of the carpet industry in the valley. The carpets made in J&K are being exported to more than 20 countries. In 2020-21, carpets worth Rs. 115 crore were exported to Germany. Given the international export size and market competition, it is a prerequisite to safeguard the authenticity of the products for the sustainability of the local weavers and exporters.” Mr. Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President KCCI & Members COA CEPC while speaking on the occasion expressed his happiness and gave brief expedition of GI Tag and the benefits of getting Carpets GI Tagged and ensured all support from KCCI at all levels. Mr. Sheikh Ashiq urged the Govt. to ensure all support to Manufacturer/ exporters of Kashmir so that the exports from the region are back to track and will attain new heights. A weaver Gulzar Ahmad Ganni who has been weaving Kashmir Carpets for last 40 years, said, “The craft of weaving carpets demands a great deal of finessee and patience. It takes months to produce one hand-knotted carpet and we feel discouraged when duplicate items are sold in the market. This predatory practice dents our business. I hope the new initiative will bring change.”
Abdul Majid Sofi, another weaver of Kashmir Carpets cited the importance of strict labelling and certifications to safeguard weavers’ interest. Both the weavers are considered as master of their crafts. It is noteworthy that the Hon’ble LG J&K has announced the establishment of Carpet villages in Kashmir.
To encourage the youth of J&K, Central and State Govt. are providing MBA Degree in Craft and Management Entrepreneurship by Craft Development Institute. It will help the carpet industry of J&K to foster and capitalize the youth capital and their ideas towards protecting the heritage craft of Jammu & Kashmir. were present, Mr. Umar Hameed, Chairman CEPC., Mr. Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director, Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir, Govt. of J&K, Mr. Zubair Ahmad, Director, IITC Sringar, Mr. Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Member COA, CEPC, Mr. Arshad Mir, Chairman, Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council,Mr. Mukesh Kumar Gomber, Member COA, CEPC