Financial performance of Handlooms and Handicrafts Export Corporation (HHEC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Textiles and a leading star export house engaged in the exports of handicrafts, handlooms, ready-to-wear garments, carpets, jute jewellery and imports of bullion augers well for future growth of the sector. Moreover, National Skill Development Council (NSDC) has projected that India’s Handlooms and Handicrafts sector is expected to require 17.79 million skilled workforce by 2022 and is projected to grow 16 per cent.
The Corporation paid divided of Rs 35.43 for the last fiscal. Though the amount looks small as the it has turnover of Rs 2,738 crore in 2014-15, it is promising to note that the the Corporation has been continuously making profit from the Financial Year 2010-11; it resumed paying dividend since last year, after a gap of seven years. In the Financial Year 2014-15, the Corporation achieved a turnover of Rs. 2,738.19 crores – an increase of 7.27 percent. In terms of profitability, HHEC achieved a net profit after Tax of Rs.3.40 crores in 2014-15 against Rs. 1.69 crores last year.
The Corporation is also part of the ambitious programme of Ministry of Textiles, in establishing Common Facility Centres (CFCs) and Common Service Centres (CSCs) at the clusters of artisans and weavers. HHEC presently runs two CFCs/CSCs at Koodi and Karghana of Varanasi District. Through these centres, the Corporation provides direct and indirect employment to 500-600 persons; besides this, around 1500-2000 artisans and weavers are connected to HHEC as vendors or otherwise.
India was the biggest producer of jute in the world with 1.67 million tonnes, second in silk production with 23679 MT, second in cotton production with 5.7 million tones and fifth in synthetic fibre production during 2012–13. India is the biggest exporter of yarn in the international market with 25 per cent share in the world yarn export market; along with 12 per cent share in yarn and textile fibre production in the world. India has the highest capacity of loom with a share of 61 per cent in the world loom age. To maintain its leadership position India will require skilled manpower with latest expertise and knowledge about the sector.
According to the Report, majority of Handlooms workers have never received any kind form of formal education (rural 32 per cent and urban 29 per cent). Weaving skills are traditionally inherited from community-based learning, indicating the limited need for educational qualification as a criterion to pursue handloom works. Geographically 60.5 per cent (16.83 lakhs) of handlooms/ weaver households is located in northeast India. Assam accounts for 44.6 per cent (12.41 lakhs) and other states, such as West Bengal, consist of 4.07 lakhs (14.6 per cent), Andhra Pradesh consists of 1.77 lakhs (6.4 per cent).
“Traditional form of teaching, training and skill development for the Handlooms and Handicrafts sector remained absent in our formal education system, including research institutes. Unlike apparel and fashion sectors, direct linkages between handicraft producers and designers are still lacking,” the Report said.
Naishadh Parikh, Chairman, Textiles & Handloom Sector Skill Council said, “ It’s time for the industry to come forward and work together to upscale this section of our society and give ample opportunity to the youth in this segment and promote their skill and talent.”