Kairali, the showrooms of the Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala (HDCK) Limited, made a profit of Rs. 59 lakh on a turnover of Rs. 11 crore during 2008-2009. Talking to press persons here on Thursday, the HDCK Chairman Antony Raju said that the turnover was from nineteen showrooms within and outside the State.

He said the twentieth Kairali showroom will be inaugurated in Kollam on Saturday by the Minister for Labour, P.K. Gurudasan. During this year, Kairali had opened five showrooms and by December two more showroom, one at Kumili and the other at Attakulangara in Thiruvananthapuram will also be opened.

Mr. Raju said with Central Government funding the HDCK will invest Rs. 2 crore for starting a raw material bank. The aim of the bank is to make wood available for craftsmen. The HDCK has also moved a proposal to the Centre requesting sandalwood at subsidised rates for craftsmen.

At least 60 per cent of the items sold through the Kairali showrooms are products of Kerala, he said. Following a proposal from the HDCK, the government will institute State level handicrafts awards to craftsmen in each category. While products of several public sector undertakings are sold through Kairali, the HDCK is in the process of entering into a tie up with the MMTC Ltd.

Mr. Raju said that the HDCK views with concern the dwindling figures of craftsmen in the State. In order to overcome the situation, a proposal for starting a handicrafts academy has been submitted to the government and the same is under active consideration of the government, he said. In order to boost exports through Kairali, a tie up with SIDCO has been formalised. HDCK Managing Director K. Radhakrishna Pillai was also present.

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