Handicraft artisans accuse J&K government of indifference

Srinagar: Flood-hit handicraft artisans held a protest demonstration here on Thursday and accused the Jammu and Kashmir government of “indifferent” attitude towards their plight.

A large number of protestors rued that they had been left out of the government’s rehabilitation programme after last year’s devastating floods damaged their business units.

They urged the state government to address their long-pending issues at the earliest.

“We have suffered massive financial losses in last year’s floods. More than a year has passed and we are still awaiting help from the state government,” lamented Nisar Ahmad, president of the Kashmir Handicraft Workers Union.

“Some people have received financial aid to restart their business units, but most of us have been conveniently ignored,” he added.

Nisar Ahmad said the government was yet to release the interest subsidy on loans advanced to the poor artisans.

“The government promised to raise the amount of loan advanced under artisans’ credit card scheme from Rs.90,000 to Rs.1.5 lakh,” he azdded.

He demanded that the government fulfil its commitment and announce a comprehensive relief package for craftsmen.

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