Srinagar : The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has designated the Director of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir as the authority responsible for enforcing the J&K Prohibition of Manufacture of Specified Copper Utensils (by machine) Act.
The step is aimed to combat the introduction of machines in crafting copper utensils which has resulted in marginalization of traditional artisans, and has allowed individuals without specific copper working skills to enter the industry, adversely affecting traditional craftsmen.
While the government’s efforts to implement the act have encountered challenges, the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir is actively working to address the issue of machine-made copperware being sold as handmade. The department is promoting genuine handmade copperware and has introduced hologram-based labeling to authenticate products. 291 Copperware labels were issued in the first three quarters of 2022-23. Additionally, a priority is placed on bringing handmade copperware under the protection of the Geographical Indication Act.
Furthermore, the department has recently included copperware, along with 20 other crafts, in the category of ‘Notified Crafts’ to support local artisans. This inclusion facilitated the registration of copperware artisans, granting them access to various government support programs.
Describing the measure as a significant undertaking, Director of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir, emphasized that the department’s overarching goal is to champion genuine handmade copperware. He assured that the identification of deceptive artisans and manufacturers of copperware by the Quality Control Division will be given top priority.
This directive serves as a modification to the Prohibition of Manufacture of Specified Copper Utensils (by Machine) Act, 2006, (Act No. XIII of 2006) and mandates the department to take action against unlawfully operating units and conduct the confiscation of machine-made copper items.
The public is urged to purchase copper items labeled with QR codes, as this supports authentic artisans.