The handicraft and handloom sector in India plays a vital role in the country's economy and cultural heritage. As per the Ministry of Textiles, the handicrafts sector alone employs nearly 70 lakh people. With a rich history of craftsmanship and textile production dating back thousands of years, the sector employs millions of artisans, mostly in rural areas. India's handicrafts are famous for their intricate designs, fine workmanship, and diverse range of products including wooden sculptures, textiles, pottery, and more. The handloom sector is renowned for producing premium-quality fabrics like silk, cotton, and wool. Despite facing challenges from mass-produced imports, the sector continues to flourish with support from the government and various organizations. The handicraft and handloom sector is a unique blend of tradition, innovation, and art, and is an important part of India's cultural identity.

Our skilled artisans, or Vishwakarmas, were greatly affected by the shutdown during the pandemic and supply chain disruptions that lasted long after the pandemic. The government worked actively to support the labour and artisans in the handicrafts sector. To further support our craftspeople, Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a package of assistance for artisans and craftspeople during the Union Budget 2023-24. The newly conceptualised Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM-VIKAS) scheme will enable the country’s artisans to improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products, integrating them with the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) value chain. The components of the scheme will include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkage with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security. This will greatly benefit the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, women and people belonging to the weaker sections.

The Union Budget 2023-24 is the people’s budget. It has put inclusive development at the heart of the country’s economic agenda by focusing on facilitating ample opportunities for citizens to fulfil their aspirations, providing a strong impetus to growth and job creation and ensuring that the benefits reach the last mile.

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