‘Leather exports to fall by 20 percent’January 28th, 2009 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Jan 28 (IANS) The global slowdown has started taking its toll on India’s leather industry as production is already down and exporters expect around 20 percent fall in their order volumes, industry leaders said here Wednesday.”The tanneries are now working at 30-40 percent capacity as against 80 percent utilisation last November (2008). All the exporters will see around 20 percent fall in their order volumes,” said Zackria Sait, chairman of the Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
He was speaking at a meeting organised by the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) to announce the 43rd Leather Research Industry Get-Together (LERIG-2009), a two-day event starting Thursday here.
Sait said a higher fall in export volumes would affect the industry adversely.
In addition, the European nations have started erecting non-trade barriers, which would increase our costs, he added.
Habib Hussain, chairman of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) said the industry could not be fully dependent on the domestic market. “The retailing sector in India is yet to evolve to sell our products. The existing retail outlets are being serviced by others,” he said.
M. Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman of footwear exporter Farida group, said the Tamil Nadu government was not helping the industry tide over the difficult time.
Nearly 50 percent leather footwear units located in Tamil Nadu are focussed on export markets, Ahmed said.
“Around 250,000 workers belonging to backward classes are employed by the leather exporters in the Ambur and Vanniambadi belt in Tamil Nadu. Their jobs are in the firing line,” he added.
“The Tamil Nadu government is not taking notice of our hardship thinking that it is the central government’s problem,” Ahmed said.
According to him, the Indian leather industry has not seen such a crisis earlier.