India’s pottery industry is likely to get a major boost as transport and MSME minister Nitin Gadkari has written to the commerce minister PiyushGoyal to make use of kulhad mandatory at railway stations, airports, and bus depots. In a letter written to the commerce minister, Nitin Gadkari suggested “use of kulhad mandatory at 100 railway stations” along with “airports and state transport undertakings having tea stalls at bus depots,” PTI reported. Gadkari said that malls will also be encouraged to have kulhad tea stalls.
The decision, if taken, will give local potters access to vast market even as it would be environment-friendly with the usage of paper and plastics being eliminated to serve beverages, according to Nitin Gadkari. To support the move and cater to increasing demand for kulhads, the minister also directed the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to provide equipment for large-scale production of kulhads.
KVIC had “distributed 10,000 electric wheels to potters for making kulhads last year” and has a target of 25,000 electric wheels this year, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told PTI. The Indian pottery or ceramic industry is worth Rs 26,000 crore and has SMEs with over 50 per cent share of the market, according to an industry report published in 2018.
The market is expected to grow at nearly 9 per cent CAGR to around Rs 60,000 crore by 2022. The sector has seven major clusters in India with Khurja, Madhya Pradesh being recognised as 600-year old pottery cluster making crockery, electrical items, laboratory ware and sanitary ware products, the report titled Status Quo and Outlook 2022: Indian Ceramics Industry said.
So far, caterers at Varanasi and Rae Bareli railway stations in Uttar Pradesh use terracotta-made kulhads, glasses and plates. Kulhads were introduced by then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2004 to help pottery market grow.