New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards on Friday published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.

The Standard is being released in Leh.

In a message, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that the certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material. It will also assure the purity of Pashmina for customers.

She said that BIS certification of Pashmina will go a long way in discouraging counterfeit or substandard products presently mislabeled and sold as genuine Pashmina in the market.

The Textiles Minister further said that it is a step in the right direction and will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products, currently a disadvantaged lot due to rampant marketing malpractices.

The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the hostile and tough terrain of Changthang and are solely dependent on Pashmina for their livelihood. At present, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats.

This initiative of hallmarking Pashmina will protect the interests of these families, motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession as well as encourage more families to take up this occupation.

Ladakh produces 50 MT of the finest grade of Pashmina in the world (12-15 microns) and this initiative will provide further impetus towards value addition of Pashmina in Ladakh. Ministry of Textiles is processing a proposal for funding of Rs 20 crore for a de-hairing plant for Leh which along with this initiative will lead to progress in the Pashmina sector in Ladakh.