Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Govt. of India, graces Handicrafts Export Award function as Chief Guest and gives away 126 Awards in recognition of Outstanding Export Performance

New Delhi  – The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) organised its 23rd Handicrafts Export Awards Function today at New Delhi. This eagerly awaited function recognised exporters for their outstanding performance during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19. The evening saw a huge gathering of India’s handicraft exporters from all parts of India along with Mr. Raj K Malhotra, Chairman, EPCH; Vice Chairman, EPCH – Shri Kamal Soni; Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH and Chairman, India Exposition Mart Ltd.; members of EPCH’s Committee of Administration.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Govt. of India, was the Chief Guest at the function and gave away the awards in the presence of Guest of Honour, Smt. Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Textiles and Railways, Govt. of India. The occasion was also graced by Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India and was presided by Shri Shantmanu, IAS, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Govt. of India, congratulated the award winners and encouraged them to envision and work towards multi-fold growth for their enterprises which percolates to growth and better livelihood to the 30 lakh registered grassroot artisans potentially engaged with them. He specially complimented the dynamism of the sector and Shri Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH, for commissioning the landmark MICE destination – India Expo Centre and Mart and the handicrafts sector uniquely running it not only as a self- sustained but profitable enterprise, which was inconceivable at that time. Calling the sector full of infinite possibilities and envisioning immense growth potential for the sector, he urged the trade, especially the forward looking youth to propose ideas and plans for the growth path ahead. He emphasised the need not just to meet demand but create more demand through product innovation and incisive marketing, branding, design, quality consistency and packaging.

Smt. Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Textiles and Railways, Govt. of India said, “The efforts and support of the Handicraft exporters’ community in spreading the culture and identity of the nation is truly appreciable. I hope the next generation of exporters continue this culture and take this sector to greater heights giving our handicrafts the place of pride they truly deserve. GI crafts and many local crafts are yet to attain their true market viability and have potential to be explored. EPCH is already doing a praiseworthy job in that direction.” She further added, EPCH’s exhibitions that include all segments of entrepreneurs, are proof of the progress the sector is making. Through such efforts not just the export community is promoted but also local artisans are elevated. This is in keeping with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of uplifting those working at the base level and giving them their due.

Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, congratulated the export fraternity for their contribution to India’s export basket and reaching out to overseas markets, while staying connected with a highly regarded heritage and skill base of artisans at the grassroot level, sustaining them and keeping the value chain of lakhs of artisans nourished through direct and indirect employment. Commending such efforts that have also been instrumental for achieving export growth even during the pandemic, the Secretary Textiles said, “This sector is the nation’s pride and I hope the export community continues to achieve greater heights. To keep up the growth trajectory, you must ensure that benefits of exports should reach artisans working on the ground level.

Mr. Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman, EPCH, shared, “A total of 126 awards were given to 61 winners of the year 2017-18 and to 65 winners of the year 2018-19. A special commendation award was also given. The Awards, instituted in 1989, are organised in four broad categories – Top Export Award, Product Group-wise Awards, Regional Awards and Woman Entrepreneur Award together totalling to 39 Trophies, 3 Platinum Performer Certificates, 72 Merit Certificates, 11 Women Entrepreneur Awards and 1 Special Commendation Award.  The objective of awards is to create a sense of healthy and wholesome competition amongst exporters. Over the years, these have become a coveted recognition amongst the handicrafts exporters as more and more strive to achieve a place in these awards.”

Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH thanked the dignitaries for their presence, encouragement & support and added, “Due to the pandemic, the export awards function is being held after a gap of three years, hence, honoured awardees are for two consecutive years. This annual event of the sector was enthusiastically awaited by one and all, as the handicrafts fraternity of India congregates at this function, not only to get acknowledged for their efforts towards exports, but also applaud, encourage and inspire each other. The achievements, a testament of hard work and dedication are impetus for the entire handicrafts exporting fraternity that has kept up the momentum and positive outlook despite challenges.”

Shri Kamal Soni Vice chairman EPCH delivered the vote of thanks to the august gathering.

EPCH is a nodal agency for promoting exports of handicrafts from the country to various destinations of the world and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high-quality handicrafts goods & services. The Handicrafts exports during the year 2021-22 was Rs. 33253.00 Crores (US $ 4459.76 Million) registering a growth of 29.49% in rupee term & 28.90% in dollar terms over previous year informed by Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH.

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