How’s The Assam Government Moulding Craftsmanship Into Small Business Of India
Assam is the blend of modernization and tradition - welcome to Assam. Featuring two world heritage sites, diverse culture due to the presence of many tribes and kingdoms throughout its long history, Assam has a lot to contribute. Tourism in Assam is not as developed as compared to the rest of tourism hubs of the country, possibly this adds to the charm as it provides raw and authentic beauty to the tourists.
The handicrafts of this state are exceptional. The finesse and delicate workmanship of a wide variety of craft products of ancient Assam earned universal acclamation; this is evident from many literary and historical records. In all branches, craftsmanship like weaving and sericulture, or metal, ivory, wood, leather, clay, cane, bamboo works and the like, the reputation of Assamese artisans was equal to that of the craftsmen of other parts of contemporary India. The ancient kingdom of Kamrupa was noted for many old-time industries. In the pre-British period where there were independent rulers in Assam, a number of old times industries especially cottage industries got patronage from the kings and nobles and naturally the propagation of such industries constituted one of the important features of the cultural life of the people there.
Self reliance had been the key-note of Assam's economy in early mediaeval time. To a large number of the people these cottage industries had been a way of life .To make it more popular The Assam Cabinet approved the Handicraft Policy of Assam, 2022, in order to facilitate growth and development of craft-based industries and provide training and technological support to artisans and entrepreneurs.
The handicraft policy will provide market linkages and online marketing support to facilitate export of the products, a government release said.
Among the key highlights of the policy are capital investment subsidies up to 30 per cent on the amount spent on plant and machinery with a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh for new and Rs five lakh for old handicraft units.
Interest subsidy up to five per cent on working capital loan for five years to all eligible units with a ceiling of Rs two lakh per unit per year will also be provided, it said.
Subsidy up to 50 per cent on the marketing expenditure incurred by the handicraft units for a period of three years subject to a maximum ceiling of Rs 30,000 per annum will also be provided under the handicraft policy.
Furthermore, one time support of Rs 30,000 to all eligible handicraft units for developing web portal/app for online marketing of their products, setting up raw material banks and providing photo identity cards to artisans will be covered by the policy.
Three awards to handicraft units in each district and supporting design and development by roping in National Institute of Design, Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts, India Trade Promotion Organisation, and Development Commissioner will also be done under it.
Assam's Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in November 2021 launched the ambitious Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme 2021 to encourage those making regular payment of microfinance loans. The Chief Minister ceremonially distributed cheques to 5 beneficiaries in the programme. The scheme would benefit a total of 24 lakh women beneficiaries in the State while 59,468 women would receive reliefs amounting from Rs.16, 000 - Rs.25, 000 in Sonitpur district.