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Crisis in Pakistan as tanners stop buying hides and skins

The Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) has said its members have decided to stop buying local hides and skins as a protest against government moves to impose steeper taxes on them.

A new financial year began in Pakistan on July 1 and the government has turned down requests to ease the tax burden on five export-focused industries, including leather. Instead, raw materials they use have had a zero-rate sales tax withdrawn. In addition, all imports will now face a sales tax of 17%.

On receiving confirmation of the new arrangements, the PTA called an emergency meeting and decided to halt  purchases of local raw material. Their hope is that the prospect of a build-up of unused hides and skins in high summer temperatures in the approach to the Eid al-Adha festival, which this year takes place around August 11 or 12, will encourage the government to think again.

The volume of hides and skins tanners in Pakistan usually buy in the build-up to the festival is worth millions of dollars to the local economy. 

In a statement, the PTA pointed out that 1 million jobs in Pakistan depend on the leather industry.

Image: Fakhria Tannery

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