Value of leather exports in India fell by 5 per cent: CLE

Export value of leather and leather products fell by 5.5 per cent in 2019, but the volume of products exported increased from 183 million pairs in 2018 to 262 million pairs in 2019, said Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman of Council of Leather Exports (CLE), on Wednesday.
Value of leather exports in India fell by 5 per cent: CLE
Representative image

Chennai

“The prices of leather raw materials have dropped by 40 per cent. As a result, our turnover too has witnessed a fall,” Ahmed said. This, however, has increased employment, especially under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Integrated Fodder and Livestock Development Project (IFLDP) wherein in 2017 the Centre granted Rs 2,600 crore to the industry.

“So far, 50 per cent of the funds have disbursed by the government which has resulted in more employment,” said Ahmed.

According to data released by the Leather Skill Sector Council (LSSC), it has trained about 60,000 unemployed youth under PMKVY and has upgraded skills of about 1.32 lakh existing workers under RPL scheme of PMKVY. LSSC intends to upgrade the skills of another 1 lakh existing workers under PMKVY-RPL Scheme by March 2020.

Speaking about export prospects in 2020, Ahmed said, “US has been a good market. Though the value of exports fell by 5.5 per cent, the value of exports in the US increased by 2.5 per cent. We will continue to focus on there.” He added that CLE had organised a leather show in the US in December and another is scheduled in July.

Speaking about US’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), the Chairman was confident that with American President Donald Trump’s visit here, India’s benefits would be restored.

Under the GSP, certain items can enter the American market duty-free if the beneficiarydeveloping country meets the criteria established by US Congress. The benefits to India were withdrawn from June 5 last year after the US dairy and medical devices industries alleged that Indian trade barriers affected their exports.

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