J&K to issue 70,000 artisan credit cards to craftsmen

The cards would help craftsmen from Srinagar to get hassle-free credit from banks

Srinagar: To enable craftsmen of Srinagar a hassle-free access to credit facilities from banking institutions, the Jammu and Kashmir government will issue 70,000 artisan credit cards, reports PTI.

“This year we will issue 70,000 Artisan Credit Cards so that the artisans of Srinagar get hassle free credit from banks,” Industries and Commerce Minister Surjeet Singh Slathia said during an interaction with artisans.

The minister said a calendar of handicrafts sale-cum- exhibition events has been formulated between May and September this year to provide marketing channels to the craftsmen during the current tourist season and ensuing Amarnath yatra.

“This will enable the artisans to sell their products to the tourists without exploitation of middlemen,” he added.

These stalls will be set-up by the handicrafts and handloom departments in all major tourist destinations like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Baltal and Sonamarg.

Slathia said possibilities will also be explored to set-up sale counters for two months near Boulevard, where craftsmen can sell products to tourists.

He said in order to switch over to modern technology in the handicrafts sector, about 8,000 modern carpet weaving looms, each costing Rs50,000, will be distributed among the artisans free of cost in a phased manner.

The minister said the Pashmina Quality Control Laboratory to curb sale of fake shawls will come up in August 2012.

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SBI launches 'signature' cards for HNIs

The SBI Signature Card is available at an annual fee of Rs5,000 and card holders are entitled to a full fare airline ticket or gift vouchers worth Rs5,000 from leading lifestyle brands upon enrolment

Mumbai: SBI Cards, the third largest credit card issuer in the country, said it has launched a 'signature' card targeted at the high net-worth individuals (HNIs), reports PTI.

"SBI Signature Card is another product innovation from our side and comes with a distinct value proposition. This product is in line with our plan to expand our presence in the premium customer segment," SBI Cards and Payment Services chief executive officer Kadambi Narahari said in a release.

Its competitors HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank already have offerings in niche segment but which are by invitation only.

The SBI Signature Card is available at an annual fee of Rs5,000. The card holders will also be entitled to a full fare airline ticket or gift vouchers worth Rs5,000 from leading lifestyle brands upon enrolment, the release said.

The card company is a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE of the US and already has a presence in 50 cities.

Set up in January 1998, SBI Cards is the third largest card issuer with a customer base of 2.2 million and a market share of nearly 13% in a 17-million cards market.

The average spend per card in India is one of the lowest at $755. It is as high as $3,352 in Australia and $2,084 in Thailand.

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Geojit to offer investment services to NRI clients of SBI

NRIs can visit any SBI branch in the Middle East to open accounts for repatriable and non-repatriable investments to commence investing in Indian stock market

Mumbai: Brokerage firm Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services signed an agreement with State Bank of India to offer portfolio investment services to non-resident Indians (NRIs), reports PTI.

The facility is targeted at NRIs in the Middle East and they can purchase and sell shares or convertible debentures on the domestic stock exchanges, subject to limits prescribed by the RBI, the firms said in a joint statement.

NRIs can visit any SBI branch in the Middle East to open accounts for repatriable and non-repatriable investments to commence investing in stock market, it said.

The customers can trade through the offices of joint ventures in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Al Ain, Riyadh, Muscat, Damam and Jeddah.

“At a time when the rupee has depreciated and valuations are relatively inexpensive, this service from Geojit BNP Paribas and SBI will be of immense use to NRIs to grow their wealth through Indian stock market,” Geojit BNP Paribas managing director CJ George said.

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