The Indian Handicrafts Sector Is A US$ 100 Billion Industry.

India exported handicrafts worth US$ 3.80 billion during 2018-2019.

Handicraft exports from India increased by 6.44 percent year-on-year during 2018-19.

The Indian Government increased the incentive rates under the Merchandise Export from India scheme from 5 to 7 percent.

Departmental Contact Information
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi 110011

Contact no: 011-23061222


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The Indian handicrafts weave together the strands of sustainability, inclusion and conservation of cultural heritage. By virtue of its position as the second largest rural income provider after agriculture, the Indian handicraft occupies a pivotal position in India’s rural economy and is especially crucial for the weaker sections of the society.

Though the Indian Handicraft industry is considered a cottage industry, it has evolved as one of the major revenue generators over time. There has been consistent growth of 15% over a few years and the industry has evolved to one of the major contributors for export and foreign revenue generation.

Launched in 1981 by the Haryana Tourism, Surajkund Mela is a unique fair showcasing India’s folk arts and rich crafts tradition from all regions of India. The largest crafts fair in the world, the novelty of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela lies in the fact that one Indian state is selected as the Theme State each year, along with a country being selected as a partner nation. Uzbekistan was the Partner Nation for the Year 2020 and Himachal Pradesh was selected as the Theme State in the 35th Edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela.

USTTAD SCHEME ( Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) under the Ministry of Minority Affairs, aims to preserve the heritage of traditional arts and crafts of minority communities, build capacity of the traditional artisans and establish linkages of traditional skills with the global market.

The USTTAD Scheme organises handicraft exhibitions across the country to provide a platform for traditional crafts. Known as the Hunar Haat (Skill Market), the fair witnesses great footfall every year. The Lucknow Hunar Haat witnessed a footfall of over 29 lakhs in its 2021 edition.

Some of the measures that have been undertaken to give further boost to the sector include:

  • The Indian government is focusing on the skills training of rural artisans under the ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna’, a policy for rural empowerment, of which Handicrafts form a sizeable segment.
  • SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries has been largely successful in promoting cluster development for skill training, quality improvement and policy support to the handicrafts industry. In this regard, reducing tariffs (such as 18% GST on Handicrafts) and giving subsidies will lower average costs, and improve the ease of doing business for the handicraft industry.
  • The Government of India has increased incentive rates under the Merchandise Export from India scheme (MEIS) to 7% from 5% for handicraft items, which will help exporters to recover the input costs involved in the production of handicrafts and will lead to competitive pricing and boost export.
  • To support the local artisans and weavers ahead of the festive season, had organized a Handicrafts Mela from September 26, 2020 to October 10, 2020, to help over 8 lakh artisans and weavers.

Walmart owned Indian E-commerce giant Flipkart has signed an agreement with the Assam government to promote the artefacts and handloom products crafted by the state’s local artisans, weavers and craftsmen on its digital marketplace, thereby adding further thrust to the Indian government’s initiative to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).