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Government investment to boost India’s leather industry

The chairman of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Mukhtarul Amin, has described the last two and a half years as “a challenging period” for the Indian leather industry.

Speaking on January 31 at the inauguration ceremony ahead of the 2018 India International Leather Fair (February 1-3), Mr Amin said India’s leather exports have fallen from $6.5 billion in the 2014-15 financial year to $5.6 billion in the 2016-17 financial year. What’s more, he revealed this decline continued in the first six months of the current financial year.

Despite these setbacks, he said the Indian leather industry has shown “fighting spirit” and was hopeful it would return to export growth in the coming years.

Mr Amin said the Indian government “has always supported and guided the leather industry”. This was further emphasised ahead of IILF 2018 when India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu, guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony, revealed a new special package for the country’s leather and footwear industry.

The initiative, which is being called the Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme 2017-2020, will count on government investment of Rs 2,600 crore (more than $400 million). Among the areas in which this money will be spent are training new skilled workers, supporting the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), establishing new mega leather clusters and installing or upgrading common effluent treatment plants.

More information about the current situation in the Indian leather industry and about the Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme will be included in the February/March 2018 issue of World Leather magazine.

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