Promoting handicrafts can lift millions out of poverty: PEW

Click here to View Printed Statement
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday called upon the authorities to support the ignored sector of handicrafts which can help lift millions out of poverty.
Pakistan can generate handsome amount of foreign exchange by promoting handicraft sector which is mainly concentrated in the province of Sindh however other provinces cannot be ignored, it said.
The government can promote this sector while private sector should invest in the handicrafts industry and turn it into a lucrative and profitable sector, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that there is a great demand for locally made handicrafts in the international market, therefore, this sector should be promoted which is directly linked with the skilled women.

Promotion of this sector will not only serve the cause of poverty reduction and women empowerment but also reduce unemployment while providing foreign exchange to the country, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that handicraft was once a major source of livelihood for millions of people but rising cost of inputs, difficult access to credit and poor marketing network, have brought the industry to the dismal state.
He said that low prices, lack of proper marketing, want of exhibition centres, discouraging behaviour of the bureaucracy, and the rising costs business were some reasons behind the decline.
He said that millions of people are working in this sector but it is not organised while it continues to suffer due to the negligence of the authorities and middlemen who use abusive techniques.
A vibrant handicraft sector will not only improve the standard of living of millions of people but also reduce the pace of migration from rural areas to the cities, he said.

In: Economy WatchAuthor: AAMIR JAVED