LAHORE: Former central chairman of Pakistan Tanners Association Agha Saiddain has regretted that Pakistan leather exports have shown negative growth rate while the regional countries have surpassed Pakistan’s exports.
In a letter written to Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Chairman S M Muneer, he stated that negative growth rate of Pakistan leather exports is basically due to the government’s imposition of 1 per cent levy on import of basic raw material of the leather industry including hides and skins.
Agha Saiddain, who is also chairman of FPCCI Regional Standing Committee on Leather Industry, observed that rate of leather sector exports was showing positive growth in the region with 47 per cent, 40 per cent, and 102 per cent in China, India and Bangladesh, respectively during last five years.
“The major reason for decline in growth of this second largest export sector was mainly unfriendly policies of the government and persistent energy crisis and frequent load shedding of electricity and gas. Leather processing is continuous process industry and electricity shutdowns not only cause serious damage to leather in process but also have adverse effects on its quality. Due to this serious problem, the leather sector is facing stagnation in its growth for last 6 years,” he added.
With little attention the government can raise exports of leather sector in few years, he claimed. Presently 95% of tanned leather is exported in finished form and in the form of leather products such as garment, gloves, footwear, and leather goods.
He said that the tanneries in Pakistan are capable of producing world class leather if this sector is patronized by the government by providing uninterrupted electricity and gas supply.