The first handicraft policy released by the Congress government in Rajasthan has laid emphasis on attracting investments for the promotion of cultural heritage and revival of traditional arts and crafts. The export of handicraft items from the State, which touched ₹6,205 crore in 2020-21, is constantly on the rise.

The Handicraft Policy 2022 is expected to boost the creation of essential infrastructure for the sector and generate new employment opportunities. It will make the State’s products exportable and help them gain an international reputation, while making better marketing arrangements to revive traditional and extinct arts.

Industries Minister Shakuntala Rawat said here on Monday that the new policy would empower the artisans with provisions for holding a national-level handicrafts week every year, giving State-level awards in various categories, e-marketing, social security, loan facility, and providing assistance for participation in fairs and exhibitions.

A Directorate of Handicrafts will be created in the State for protecting the interests of artisans, while the provisions for handicraft parks, design centres and sales centres will assist them. Ms. Rawat said while more than 50,000 new jobs would be created in the next five years, the policy would benefit the artisans of textile, metal, wood, carpet, pottery and clay, painting, leather craft and jewellery.

Rajasthan has immense potential for development of handicrafts as it has abundant raw material such as wood, marble, leather and metals. Ms. Rawat pointed out that the World Crafts Council had declared Jaipur as the “world craft city” in 2016 because of its havelis, jharokhas, gates ornated with handwork, wall paintings and handicrafts.

“In view of this, the handicrafts were included among the thrust sectors of the investment promotion scheme launched in 2019 and made eligible for additional benefits,” Ms. Rawat said. The master craftsmen, handicraft experts and the institutions would help develop the traditional handicrafts and revive the conventional arts, she added.