KARACHI: Meetings will be organised with leather industry delegates to highlight and address issues faced by the trade, according to Federal Minister for Industries and Production Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani in an effort to assure representatives of the country’s leather industry.
He was addressing a meeting hosted by the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) in Lahore on Thursday. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer were also present along with representatives of the industry.
They also assured that the government will address concerns raised by leather tanners.
Addressing the gathering, PTA Chairman Khurshid Alam said, “the unavailability of raw material, in the shape of live animals, is causing problems for the leather industry in the execution of export orders.” He explained that the war on terror and the recent floods have killed at least 1.5 million livestock and affected millions more.
He asserted that the smuggling of live animals remains unchecked and that the “government staff is also involved in smuggling,” adding that “they have fixed the rate at Rs2,000 per cow and Rs500 per goat.”
Alam also called for an increase in export duties on raw hides and wet blue hides from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. He contended that “huge lots (of raw material) are being exported through incorrect declaration and under-invoicing”.
Alam asserted that “the total electricity demand of the tanning industry is around 55-58 megawatts or in the case of gas supply, 17 to 18 million cubic feet per day”. He pressed the government to ensure uninterrupted supply to the industry, adding that the “industry could enhance its exports to $1.5 billion if power outages end.”
Bijarani assured the leather industry’s representatives that their concerns will be addressed through consultation and that their recommendations will be included in the upcoming industrial policy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2010.