Over Rs.9 bn sanctioned for leather industry development

August 14th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) The government Thursday sanctioned over Rs.9.12 billion for implementing the Indian Leather Development Programme (ILDP). A cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sanctioned the amount to be spent during the 11th Plan period or 2007-12.

“The scheme will lead to the development of infrastructure for the leather sector, and will address environment concerns specific to the industry,” Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the meeting.

ILDP was launched in the ninth plan (1997-2002) with a view to “bridging the critical gaps in infrastructure for integrated development of leather industry and promote and enhance productivity, value addition and employment.”

India is the world’s second largest producer of leather footwear after China, manufacturing over 900 million pairs annually.

The government has targeted increasing India’s leather exports to $7 billion by 2010 from $2.3 billion now, which will generate around one million additional jobs in the country.

The value-added leather products today constitute nearly 80 percent of India’s leather exports, with footwear - both leather and non-leather - accounting for 36 percent, marking the transition of India from an exporter of raw hides and skins to a reliable source of value-added leather products.

The global leather trade is valued at $100 billion whereas India’s share of this is at a meagre 2.5 percent.

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