Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday launched new portals for the Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India (CCIC) and the Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India (HHEC) to provide e-shopping facilities for handicraft and handloom products.

One just has to go to the websites, select a product and pay through credit card. The product would be delivered at one’s doorsteps. The websites offer about 1,000 handicraft and handloom products, categorized into 26 major groups.

The CCIC has tied up with American Express Bank and HDFC Bank for accepting payments via American Express,

The websites provide real time multiple currency update every day with base currency as the Indian Rupee. The websites can be viewed in six international languages apart from English and Hindi. They also offer on-line order tracking facilities and customer care support through live chat, telephone and e-mail services.

Noting that e-marketing was increasingly catching the imagination of consumers across the world, with its current worth being about Rs. 37,000 crore annually, Mr. Maran hoped the portals would help Indian weavers and artisans tap the vast international market, apart from the domestic market. Mr. Maran and his Ministerial colleague, Panabaaka Lakshmi, also launched a new facility in the websites of the office of the Development (Handloom) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology from where weavers and artisans can download contemporary designs, with adequate technical details free of cost so that they could cater to the needs of the international audience in a more effective manner. The pages on ``design pools” would have regional language interface.

Further, he re-launched the website of the Ministry, which is now more user-friendly and interactive, with features like multi-language support, online feedback and downloadable forms.