The Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts – at Varanasi to the nation.

On Friday, he visited the centre, and was given an overview of the facilities.

The PM had laid the foundation stone of the handicraft centre in November 2014 at Bada Lalpur, Varanasi, and the first phase of the project, consisting of crafts museum, entrance plaza and shopping arcade was inaugurated by the PM Modi on 22 December, 2016.

The project covers around 7.93 acres, with a built-up area of 43,450 square metres. The approximate cost of the complex is 300 crore rupees.

PM Modi described the Trade Facilitation Centre as one of the biggest projects for Varanasi.

He said this Centre would help the artisans and weavers showcase their skills to the world, and facilitate a better future for them.

PM said promotion of the centre in the country will bring more tourists to the Sankul and will increase demand of handicrafts, and also boost the tourism potential of Varanasi, and indeed the economy of the city.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that the Ministry of Textiles is fortunate that the Rs 300 crore Deendayal Hastkala Sankul has been dedicated to the nation by the PM.

She said that the dedication of the Sankul to the nation will help increase the earnings of weavers and artisans, and help better showcase their products to the world.

The Textiles Minister said that government wants every member of the families of weavers and artisans to be able to fulfil their dream of acquiring good education.

The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik; the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath; and Minister of State, Textiles, Shri Ajay Tamta were other dignitaries present on the occasion.

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2014-15 had announced setting up of a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum to develop and promote handlooms, handicrafts and silk products of Varanasi in both domestic and international markets.