The government will set prices of rawhides on July 26 after having meeting with the stakeholders
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said the government is mulling to export rawhide to ensure fair prices.
Meanwhile, the government will set prices of rawhides on July 26 after having a meeting with the stakeholders to avert untoward incidents regarding prices.
The minister made the statement in a virtual press conference, to announce the export target for the fiscal year 2020-21, on Thursday.
“We had a bitter experience during last Eid-ul-Azha regarding the prices of sacrificial animal’s rawhide. However, there were reasons as the relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar affected the businesses of this sector, which were under pressure,” said Tipu Munshi.
“Considering last year's experience, we are thinking of allowing exports of rawhides,” he added.
“However, we are working to ensure that the people can get fair prices for the hides and trying to provide funds to businessmen who have a good track record and financial base,” said the minister.
In 2019, a huge number of rawhides was dumped as the prices offered by the retail buyers of rawhides and the tanners were unusually low.
“Last year, there were problems such as infrastructure, roads, delay in establishment of CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) to treat liquid waste. But now almost 90 to 95% work is done,” said Salman F Rahman, the Private Sector Industry and Investment adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Since the Chinese workers are staying out of work due to Covid-19 pandemic, the work is delayed a little bit but the rest will be done soon as there is normalcy in China and they will join work soon, he added.
Solid waste management
“Another big challenge for the sector is solid waste management. We have to find ways to consume solid waste of leather,” said Salman, also a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
“Moreover, we suggested the government allow the large manufacturers to establish an ETP (effluent treatment plant). Though there is objection from the small tanneries, we will devise ways so that the big tanneries also contribute to the cost of CETP,” he added.
The leather sector will turnaround as we are working on making it environmentally compliant and soon it will receive certification from the Leather Working Group, said Salman.
Exports earnings from the leather and leather goods sector suffered 21.79% losses to $798 million in FY20 due to environmental non-compliance and Covid-19 pandemic.
According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), export of leather and leather goods from Bangladesh fetched $797.6 million, down by 21.79%. The figure was $1.01 billion in FY19.
Of the total earnings from the leather sector in FY19, leather products earned $220.55 million, down by 10.81%. Earnings were $247.28 million in the previous year. Processed leather exports also declined by 40.28% to $98.31 million against $164.62 million in the same period a year ago.
However, exports earning from leather footwear posted a 21.24% negative growth to $478.75 million, which was $608 million in FY19.