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Kashmir manufactures 95% pashmina but testing labs set up in Dehradun, Kolkatta

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Over 95% of Pashmina is manufactured in Kashmir and yet there is no testing lab in Valley. The two Pashmina testing labs are in Dehradun and Kolkatta, much suffering to the people associated with the export business of shawls and Pashmina.

Scores of people from the Kashmir Valley doing pashmina business are being questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED). Sources told news agency Kashmir News Trust that Custom authorities mostly stop export consignments of Kashmiri businessmen at Delhi airport after they confuse Pashmina guard hair with shreds of Shahtoosh.

This confusion on part of Custom authorities has created problems for Kashmiri businessmen. “Not only their export consignments are being stopped but it takes months together to get the report from the testing labs at Kolkatta and Dehradun and in most of the cases, these reports are inconclusive,” a businessman told the news agency Kashmir News Trust.

A couple of businessmen confirmed they are being questioned by ED, in wake of the confusion created by Custom authorities.

“It has not been proved that pashmina shawls contain the shreds of shahtoosh and yet Kashmiri businessmen are facing problems. Even DNA reports with regard to this are inconclusive,” said a businessman.

When contacted, KCCI president, Javaid Ahmed Tenga said that this matter was brought to the notice of Union Minister of Industry and Commerce Piyush Goyal who directed the Union Commerce Secretary for establishing the latest Pashmina testing labs with DNA Testing facility on a war footing at Craft Development Institute, Srinagar and another at Delhi to ease out the problems faced by Kashmir Pashmina exporters. [KNT]

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