India has potential to become world leader in footwear & leather

  • IASbaba
  • January 4, 2023
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In News: India has the potential to become a world leader in footwear and leather with the efforts of both government and industry.

Leather industry in India

  • India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments after China in the world
  • It is the second largest exporter (after China) of leather garments in the world.
  • The industry is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the country.
  • India has an abundance of raw materials with access to 20% of world’s cattle and buffalo and 11% of the world’s goat and sheep population.
  • The Leather industry is an employment-intensive industry providing job to more than 4 mn people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society.
    • With 30% share, women employment is predominant in Leather products industry
    • Has one of the youngest workforces with 55% of the workforce below 35 years of age.
  • Major Markets: USA, Germany, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, UAE, etc.

Background of leather industry:

  • During 70s the industry was mostly exporting raw hides and skins. Based on Seetharamaiah Committee recommendations, in 1973, the Government has banned the export of raw hides and skins and introduced quota on the export of semi-finished leathers and several incentives for exporting finished leathers and products.
  • As a result, and many positive developments both within and outside the country, the structure of the industry has undergone changes in a phased manner.
  • During early 80s India’s export basket consisted of mainly finished leathers. But mid-80 onwards the share of leather products has been gradually increasing. At present more than 80% of India’s leather exports consist of finished products.
  • The Council for Leather Exports (popularly known as CLE) set up in July 1984, is an autonomous non-profit company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 entrusted with export promotion activities and development of the Indian leather industry.
  • Today we don’t export any raw material but only finished leather and leather products.
  • As of today, in terms of volume, we are the second-largest producer of footwear, largest producer of saddlery and the second-largest producer of leather garments.

Strength of Indian leather industry:

  • Own raw material source – About 3 billion sq ft of leather produced annually
  • Some varieties of goat/calf / sheep skins command premium position
  • Strong and eco-sustainable tanning base
  • Modernized manufacturing units
  • Trained / skilled manpower at competitive wage levels
  • World-class institutional support for Design & Product Development, HRD and R & D.
  • Presence of support industries like leather chemicals and finishing auxiliaries
  • Presence in major markets – Long Europe experience
  • Strategic location in the Asian landmass

Schemes by Government: The Government is working on formulating a new scheme to support the manufacturing of machinery required in the industry + The existing six sub-schemes:

  • Sustainable Technology and Environmental Promotion(STEP):-Assistance for each Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP)
  • Integrated Development of Leather Sector (IDLS):-Assistance to be provided to the sectoral units for their modernization/capacity expansion/technology upgradation (Financial assistance, domestic manufactured machinery)
  • Mega Leather Footwear and Accessories Cluster Development (MLFACD):Assistance is provided for land development, core infrastructure, social infrastructure, production facilities including ready to use sheds with plug and play facility, R&D support and export services
  • Establishment of Institutional Facilities (EIF):-Assistance would be provided for establishment/upgradation of the institutional infrastructure of Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI).
  • Brand Promotion of Indian Brands in Footwear and Leather Sector
  • Development of Design Studios in Footwear and Leather Sector: A one-stop- shop providing a wide range of services: design, technical support, quality control, etc. to promote marketing/export linkages, facilitate buyer- seller meets, display designs to international buyers and work as an interface for the trade fairs.

Source: News on AIR


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