Excise officials allow the artisans to procure black jaggery

Krishna district Collector M. Raghunandan Rao and Excise officials have allowed the Kalamkari artisans and exporters in Pedana to procure the available black jaggery stock in its surrounding areas to run their units.

The printing and production of several varieties of clothes at the Kalamkari units came to a standstill for the past few weeks as black jaggery slowly disappeared from the market due to stringent ban on its import and sale. On December 4, The Hindu had published an article ‘Black jaggery scarcity forces Kalamkari units to down shutters,’ revealing the problems of the exporters and workers engaged in the small scale rural industry.

Kalamkari is the lifeline for a significant number of rural women too. Simultaneously, a team representing the Kalamkari Artisans’ Union on December 3 met Mr. M. Raghunandan Rao and explained the impact of the scarcity of black jaggery on their means of livelihood and industry as a whole.

A few days later, the Excise Department supplied the available black jaggery under the Bantumilli police jurisdiction to help avoid discontinuation of preparation of black colour – the basic colour that is needed for all kinds of designs of the Kalamkari art work.

“We have realized the great damage that has been caused to Kalamkari units due to ban on import or sale of black jaggery. The artisans and their union delegation was invited to apply for ‘Permanent Trade Licence”, Excise Superintendent K. Pradeep Rao told The Hindu.

Considering it as an exceptional case, the Kalamkari artisans’ Union would be allowed to transport, store and sell the black jaggery after they obtain the permanent licence from the Excise Department, he added. Kalamkari Artisans’ Union representatives confirmed that they would soon apply for the licence as it would facilitate them to avoid disruption of the production.