India's exports of handicrafts fell by 48% to $1.79 billion due to the impact of recession in the US and several European economies, reports PTI.

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) Executive Director Rakesh Kumar said that a plan was being worked out to identify new markets in Latin America, China and the Middle East to bring down the present dependence on western markets. The EPCH expects to recover to the 2007-08-level exports of $3.48 billion this fiscal.

The demand for Indian handicraft arts, including metalware, woodware, hand-printed textiles and scarves, besides zari goods and imitation jewellery plunged in America and many prominent European markets. These markets together account for over 65% of Indian handicraft exports providing jobs to one million artisans.

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