India | International
Union Minister Suresh Prabhu underlined the Centre’s commitment to the leather industry at a meeting held in Chennai on the 4th August, 2018. Speaking at an interactive session organized by Council for Leather Exports (CLE), he said the matter has already has already been taken up with the State government. “Apart from assuring the State government to set up new leather clusters, the Centre is also ready to provide additional facilities,” the union minister said. He cited the ` 2600 crore package approved for the sector earlier. He added that the Centre was willing to sanction a new mega leather clusters for Tamil Nadu. The minister assured state governments of help in setting up new leather clusters or providing additional facilities. “We are committed to develop this industry. And you should thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We approved a massive package of ` 2600 crore,” he said. This was a ‘transparent’ package; he said and urged the industry to make the most if it. The government had earlier approved the package for employment generation in the leather and footwear sectors which has the potential to generate 3.24 lakh new jobs in three years and assist in formalization of two lakh jobs.
The package involves implementation of central scheme, ‘Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programmed’ over three financial years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The minister said the Centre was “willing” to sanction a new mega leather cluster in Tamil Nadu and said the matter has already been taken up with the state government. He said assurances have been made to Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to help boost the sector in these states. “Any government wants to do this, we will be very happy to support,” he added. The minister said while the Centre has already sanctioned five common effluent treatment plants, nine were awaiting approval.the declarations of support from the Commerce Minister have been met with enthusiasm as well as calls for further government action to protect and nurture the country’s leather industry. CLE has revealed that it is targeting a growth in exports of $10bn by 2024-25 from the present $5.73bn.
The target was unveiled as the council issued its detailed action plan – Strategy for Growth of Leather Sector – that focused on restoring leather as a vital and growing industry on the sub-continent. This is seen as critical given recent falls in output, having reached a peak of $6.49bn in 2014-15). CLE highlighted the growth of competitors’
market share as a real challenge. Vietnam, for instance, has seen its exports increase by 46% in recent years, in marked contrast to India’s slowdown.
Mukhtarul Amin said, “We need government support in getting land at cheaper rates for mega units and favourable labour laws keeping in view the seasonal nature of the industry, and availability of finance at lower interest rates.”
Referring to the ` 2,600 crore package approved for the sector, which was aimed at generating employment in leather, and footwear sectors, the minister termed it as a transparent package and wanted the industry to make the most of it, while reiterating the government’s commitment to develop this industry.” He added that the leather and footwear sectors have the potential to generate 3.24 lakh new jobs in three years. The package involves implementation of Central scheme, “Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme” over three financial years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The minister said while the Centre has already sanctioned five common effluent treatment plants, nine were awaiting approval, he said.
Earlier, the minister presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to M Mohammed Hashim, founder chairman, CLE. Hashim is the founder chairman of Council for Leather Exports and is the Chairman, KH Exports India Pvt Ltd, Chennai. He is an active leader of the leather and footwear industry and has made a mark for himself through his future oriented approach including promotion of exports of value added products, implementation of eco-friendly tanning technologies. He is a multi-faceted personality who is also actively involved in education and social work. He has served as President of All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA).
The minister urged the members of CLE to make India the global footwear-manufacturing hub in the near future. He said, “Indian footwear industry has a huge potential for export and employment generation. India would be a global hub for manufacturing to cater to a vast demand of shoes and other footwear. The government has geared up to formulate a strategic plan for a meaningful interface with different states as well as trade bodies for global promotion of the footwear industry.” The minister thanked M. Amin -Chairman for organizing the meet and appreciated PR Aqeel -Vice chairman particularly saying that he has consistently demonstrated great commitment and enthusiasm in council’s matters.
CLE’S core members who presided over the meet were Mukhtarul Amin – Chairman, Rafeeque Ahmed, former Chairman, PR Aqeel Ahmed – Vice Chairman, Regional Chairman’s – Israr Ahmed(south), Puran Dawar (North), Ramesh Juneja (East), Naresh Bhasin (West), R. Selvam, IAS – Executive Director and was attended by 300 plus members of CLE from across the regions.
Two-day Event (9.00 am to 6.00 pm). 68 Exhibitors - Leading ManufacturerExporters of Leather Products ▶ ▶ Display of Footwear & Components (Uppers), Leather Apparels, Leather Goods& Accessories, Leather Gloves. ▶ ▶ One-to-one business meetings
Council for Footwear, Leather & Accessories (CFLA) has been urging the government to reduce GST rate for the footwear sector. In a recent representation to interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, CFLA sought reduction in the GST rate from the current 18 percent to 12 per cent for shoes priced above ` 1,000. Its Chairman, Adesh Gupta said that the current 18% GST on footwear is very high and is already slowing down the growth of the footwear industry. The recent announcement of package of ` 2,600.- crores by the Government for the footwear sector is expected to benefit mainly exporters. Gupta, along with Inder Dev Singh Musafir, Vice Chairman, CFLA recently met Goyal and discussed steps needed to be taken for the development of the footwear sector. The entire discussion with the minister was centered around the necessity of further reduction of GST rate for the sector to 12% to promote the "Make in India" initiative launched by Prime Minister. The minister was very positive, receptive on further reduction in GST rate for footwear, he categorically mentioned that in the last GST meeting, he even proposed to the GST Council 5% rate for all kinds of footwear to support the industry or even offered 12% on shoes above ` 1,000. However, some of the States did not agree to rate reduction and hence the matter was referred to the Fitment Committee for its evaluation. It is hoped thatthis issue will be taken up seriously in the next GST Council meeting and the footwear industry can expect some positive outcome.
(L-R) Anil Agarwal - Joint Secretary DIPP, PR Aqeel Ahmed - Vice Chairman CLE, Suresh Prabhu - Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Mukhtarul Amin - Chairman CLE, R. Selvam - Executive Director CLE.
(L-R) Puran Dawar, Nalin Kohli, Shazia Ilmi & Manoj Tuli
Suresh Prabhu - Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation & Mukhtarul Amin - Chairman CLE
Suresh Prabhu - Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation felicitating M Mohammed Hashim - Founder Chairman CLE
PR Aqeel Ahmed with Nalin Kohli - spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Distinguished CLE members in audience