The list of items under duty free imports of embellishment, trimmings, tools and commodities has been enhanced by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. The 44 additional items which can be imported duty free under this provision includes cane handles, adhesives, waxes, labels, tags, cfl, glass pearls, velvet papers, laminating films, art brushes, decorative moulding for furniture, magnet buttons etc. The detailed list is enclosed. The last custom notification to this effect was issued in 2011 and the request for additional items demanded by the handicrafts sector was pending for more than last five years. Under this provision, the handicrafts exporters can import duty free embellishments to the tune of 5 per cent of their handicrafts exports of the preceding financial year.

EPCH has sought an intervention of Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles for getting the enhancement in the list of items. The Hon’ble Minister’s prompt action has helped the sector in realising this long pending demand of the handicrafts sector. OP Prahladka, Chairman EPCH hailing the decision said that “With this initiative new and novelty items will be produced as per the demands of overseas buyers on a regular basis.”

Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director EPCH said, “it has been a long overdue demand of the handicrafts Sector which has now been addressed by the Ministry of Finance and it would go a long way in enhancing the quality of Handicrafts items and also the overall look of the products thereby leading to new product development as per international demand.”

He further, said that, this notification would benefit about 11,000 handicrafts exporters who are marketing the products of about 7 mn craftspersons from the country. It is estimated that this enhancement would provide a quantum jump in exports of handicrafts in this year and thereafter. The exports of handicrafts during the latest period April- June 2018-19 have registered a growth of 3.52 per cent in Rupee terms and stands at rs. 5797 cr. However, in dollar terms there is a marginal decline (-) 0.39 per cent with exports of $865 mn.