Port Wings News Network:
Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Commerce & industry laid the stone for the International Testing Laboratory in Kanpur on 23 October 2021. This testing laboratory would be set-up as per the MOU signed between Central Leather Research Institute (CSIR- CLRI), an institution under Council for Scientific and industrial Research (CSIR) and KLC Research Council in the presence of the Minister.
The testing laboratory in Kanpur will be a major boon to the leather industry in the region and will help in meeting the testing requirements of export products as per the stipulations of the overseas buyers.
The Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC) has been undertaking various skill development initiatives in the Kanpur leather cluster. The LSSC had conducted apprenticeship training for the youth in the Kanpur cluster. The Minister awarded Skill Certificates of Leather Sector Skill Council to the youth who had undergone the apprenticeship training recently.
Shri Ajay Kumar Singh Jaiki, Minister of Jail, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Sanjay Leekha, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE) ; Shri Rajendra Kumar Jalan, Vice Chairman, CLE ; Shri Mukhtarul Amin, Chairman, KLC Research Council ; Shri P. R. Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman, LSSC, Shri R. Selvam, Executive Director, CLE, Shri Javed Iqbal, Regional Chairman-Central, CLE, Shri Asad K Iraqi, COA Member, CLE, Shri Shakil Mirza, COA Member, CLE, Shri Ashraf Rizwan, COA member, CLE, Shri Ramesh Juneja, Regional Chairman – East, CLE, Shri Motilal Sethi, Regional Chairman – North, CLE, Shri Anwarul Haq, President, UPLIA, Shri Rakesh Suri, CRC Member, Ms. Pallavi Dubey, Regional Director-Central, CLE, and a large gathering of industry representatives and stakeholders were present in the event.
Kanpur is a major leather cluster in the country with a long history and success. Kanpur has the distinction of being the largest manufacturing base of industrial safety boots & saddlery & harness items in the country, besides being a major production centre for finished leather and value added leather products and footwear. This cluster has also been notified as a “Town of Export Excellence” in the Foreign Trade Policy and Kanpur district been enlisted for “Leather Products” under “One District One Product” scheme of Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Kanpur is playing its vital role in the growth of leather industry in the country. Export of leather, leather products and footwear from Kanpur cluster was to the tune of Rs.5208 crore during 2019-20 and the total production of these items from Kanpur cluster is about Rs.6000 crore per annum. The leather industry in Kanpur employs about 5 lakh people, both directly and indirectly.
The leather industry in Kanpur cluster has taken a significant step for increasing production levels by taking initiatives for establishment of Mega Leather, Footwear & Accessories Development Cluster (MLFAC). The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has already given in-principle approval for this MLFAC in Kanpur. With the setting-up of MLFAC, export from Kanpur will increase significantly in the coming years, besides generation of employment opportunities for the youth.
In order to facilitate sustainable growth and development of the leather industry in the country, Shri Sanjay Leekha, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports has requested the consideration of the following support measures.
- Many large brands and manufacturers would like to increase sourcing from India and the time is right to push for higher scales of production. A leather park scheme could provide the needed impetus. Hence, Leather sector may be covered in a Leather park scheme on similar lines of scheme announced for textile parks, as there is substantial similarity between textile and leather industry.
- In order to achieve higher production and also attract domestic and overseas investments, the leather industry needs the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) support.
- In order to enhance our exports to brands, reinstatement of the Basic Customs Duty exemption on wet blue, crust and finished leathers is requested
- In order to meet the additional working capital requirements of the industry to meet their export commitments, additional credit with lower interest rates and flexible repayment options may be considered.
Shri Mukhtarul Amin, Former Chairman, CLE addressed the session and expressed sincere thanks to Hon’ble Minister of State Ms. Anupriya Patel for her gracious presence in today’s event. He mentioned that leather industry is struggling in reviving its previous glory in absence of government’s schemes. With proper support from Government on the various issues, the Leather industry may achieve the export target swiftly. He urged Hon’ble Minister of State, MoC&I, GoI for necessary consideration of the industry issues.
He apprised about the international testing laboratory which has immense significance in rendering various testing facilities to the manufacturer exporters of leather and leather products. Such services are indeed need of the hour and hence availability of such testing facilities within region will facilitate to the exporters in achieving their trade goals. He highlighted various issues concerned with the leather industry including removal of import duty of finished leather, expedite processing for approval of MLC Ramaipur, Kanpur and enhancement of funding support of IDLS Scheme under IFLADP outlay. He said quantum of assistance should be enhanced from 30 percent to 50 percent.
Shri P. R. Aqeel, Chairman, Leather Sector Skill Council welcomed all distinguished guests and industry members. He apprised about that Leather Sector Skill Council’s contribution in skilling to workforce connected with the leather sector. LSSC is playing vital role in order to facilitate development of skilled human resources required for sustained growth of the leather and leather products industry and identify & develop QP/National Occupational Standards (NOSs) for all shop-floor roles in the sector. He mentioned LSSC’s key initiative which includes Ecosystem development, content development, and training of trainers, training programmes, placement & certifications. He expressed best wishes to all the apprentices who have been awarded by LSSC by presenting certificates of training.
On this occasion Director, CLRI also addressed the session and apprised about significance of the testing laboratory being inaugurated today. He mentioned that leather industry has immense potential for the domestic as well export front. Hence, with enormous support on technology and skill from Government it can be grown more.
Ms. Anupriya Patel welcomed all distinguished guests, industry members and participants. She added: “today is proud and happiest moment as Kanpur is my home town.” She expressed sincere gratitude and appreciated industry members for establishment of international testing lab dedicated for the leather fraternity existing in and around Kanpur region.
Kanpur region has special identity being a major leather cluster of India. This region is known for his consistence contribution for the exports segment and saddlery & harness is hub for the manufacturing and exports. The Uttar Pradesh Government is extended support for the export growth and industrial development. Kanpur, Unnao & Agra districts have included under ODOP scheme which will give additional imputes towards achieving the export goals. She added that DGFT is planning to strengthen every district under export hub known for making handicraft goods. She added that CLRI, LSSC and other institutions are playing vital role and backbone of the leather industry in terms of skill, technology and training to workforce. She assured all kind of support and redressal of their concerns as raised by the leather fraternity today. She mentioned Hon. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to make every district as an export hub for which DOC is planning to materialized by identifying new markets and new products across globe.