Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders has expressed concern over falling production and dwindling exports of the leather sector and called for steps to revive it. A statement Chamber says that once vibrant leather sector is sailing in troubled waters and its exports for the year 2015.16 fell by 12.35 percent on the back of rising cost of production despite GSP status, it said.
India and China are grabbing Pakistan’s share in the international market which is causing concern, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt and added that fall of leather sector is also hurting jobs and revenue therefore government should consider incentives for it as it is providing jobs to four hundred thousand people.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that India is exporting leather goods worth four billion dollars while Chinese exports stood at 3.22 billion dollars. Reason behind booming exports by neighbouring countries is said to be their taxation and refund structure which is encouraging, he said.
He said that this region is rich in raw material and SAARC countries can dominate one trillion dollar global trade by joining hands for which we will have to stop discouraging each other to become a global hub of leather products, it said.
Energy crisis, increasing cost of doing business, tax issues, lack of skilled manpower, weak marketing, absence of upgradation by the industry and apathy towards latest international trends is hitting this sector hard.
He urged serious efforts are needed to promote leather sector providing jobs to over four hundred thousand people which has resulted in low value addition by the private sector.