Handicraft exports may record 10-15 pc growth in 2021-22: EPCH

 The country's handicraft exports are likely to record a growth rate of 10-15 per cent in the current fiscal on account of healthy demand in key destinations such as the US and Europe, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) said.

EPCH Chairman Raj Kumar Malhotra, however, said that the growth may get impacted in the case of the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Going by the current trend, we are expecting 10-15 per cent growth this fiscal. Order books of exporters are good and there is a good demand in our major markets of the US and Europe," he said.

The exports during April-June 2021 have increased to Rs 3,447.71 crore from Rs 1,259.34 crore in the same period last year.

Malhotra said that the government support such as release of funds under Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) will help in boosting the outbound shipments.

There is a huge demand for handicraft products in the world and e-commerce can help in tapping new consumers, he said adding special provisions should be made in the next foreign trade policy (FTP) on e-commerce.

"In order to encourage overseas warehousing for B2B e-commerce purposes, special provisions may be made in the FTP,'' the chairman suggested to the government.

He said since the goods will be placed in a warehousing facility and will be sold as per the orders received from the overseas, it will lead to the payment being received in a staggered manner, so special concessions for such exporters with respect to partial settlement of BRCs (bank reconciliation certificate), may be made.

He added that there is a need for digital integration of multiple interfaces such as Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Department of Posts (DoP), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) for facilitating e-commerce exports.

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