Hunar Haat Current Affairs - 2020

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Manipur- the major role player of Act East Policy

India has been focusing on Act East Policy lately with a strong motive of developing the North East. Out of all the North Eastern States, Manipur has evolved the major supporter of Act East Policy.

Measures

The GoI and the Manipur Government have taken several measures together in order to make the Act East Policy a big success. The integrated Check Post was inaugurated at Moreh, the Indo-Myanmar border. The Check post handles 99% of trade between Indian and Myanmar. The trade between the countries increased by 10% in a decade.

Both India and Myanmar have agreed to open nine borders between the countries. Two Hunar HAats have been established in the border districts of Manipur. Around 69 bridges have been constructed that helps in transiting to Myanmar and enhance border trade. Imphal-Mandalay flight services have begun.

Act East Policy

The Act East Policy was launched as the Look East Policy in 1991. Through the North East States India plans to increase its trade connectivity with ASEAN countries. The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit project, India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway are some of the projects that has taken trade between the countries to next level.

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GoI to organize more than 100 Hunar Haats in next 5 years

The Ministry of Minority Affairs will organize more than 100 Hunar Haat in the next five years. The move aims to increase employment opportunities to craftsmen, artisans and culinary experts and also to increase their market exposure.

Highlights

The Ministry will organize Hunar Haats in Chennai, Delhi, Kolakata, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Patna, Dehradun and Indore. The ministry has also sanctioned to set up more than 100 Hunar hubs in different parts of the country.

The Ministry in its report said that more than 65,000 artisans and craftsmen have been employed through Hunar Haats in the last 2 years.

Significance

Indian Handicrafts have great recognition in international market. US and EU are the major destinations that account to 65% of export of Indian handicrafts. China is a new buyer. Other countries where Indian crafts have great market includes Israel, Uruguay, Columbia and chile. In 2019, India exported 128 billion rupees worth handicrafts. Last year, it stood at 118 billion rupees. The increase is 9%.

Government measures

The GoI has taken several steps to develop the handicraft sector. Government set up Indian Institute of Carpet at Bhadohi. It also reduced interest rates to MUDRA loans provided to handicrafts and artisans. The custom duties and exercises that were paid for importing inputs of handicrafts were refunded through Duty Drawback Channel.

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