In the past there used to be a debate whether tourism or handicrafts was the backbone of Kashmir economy and most of the analysts would say that handicrafts was the main economic plank of Kashmir.
This sector has suffered heavily due to the turmoil in the past three decades in general and from the unrest of 2010 to 2016 and in between the devastating floods of the year 2014.
Government announced schemes and compensations but nothing percolated on the ground according to the families connected with handicrafts from making to shops.
Ban on Shah Toos was a blow on this sector and it was followed by an uncertain situation in Kashmir. Most of the families connected with this trade could not get even the money to survive with their families not to speak of the past when they used to give the government huge taxes for their revenue.
The latest about the sector is that they are at the end of the tether. They have nothing to feed their families as their shops have remained shut from August 5, last when the government asked the tourists and yatries to leave Kashmir within 24 hours.
We are already in the month of September and the sector is virtually dead. Now the Lieutenant Governor in the lastest package has said,
“Under the credit card scheme, we have decided to extend the maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for people working in the handloom and handicraft industry. They will also be given a 7 per cent interest subvention. From October 1, J&K bank will start a special desk for youth and women enterprises”.