Calls for more financing15 December 2003
The Bangladesh leather industry is calling for more financial backing so that the local industry can benefit from the increase in hides available during the Qurbani Eid festival. The most prominent time of year in terms of slaughter in Bangladesh is Qurbani Eid when about 2 million cows and five million goats are slaughtered as sacrificial animals. These hides could earn huge amounts of foreign currency, even in the form of semi-processed or crust leather. With further value added once the leathers have been transformed into bags and shoes, the country has the potential to benefit far more from the leather business that is currently earning. If the hides from the sacrificial animals could be kept in Bangladesh and used in local industries, then the price of importing the sacrificial animals could almost be recouped. But a large quantity of the hides are smuggled across into India because Bangladesh tanners are not adequately financed with bank credits. More importantly, the industry is calling for more steps to be taken to re-open the large amount of tanneries that remain closed. When the decision was taken in 1990 to stop the export of wet-blue leathers, the intended result to promote the production of value-added articles failed, and instead many of the tanneries closed because of the lack of finance to upgrade their machinery and buy new machinery for the production of crust leather and leathergoods. More financial support and funds are therefore required before the Bangladesh leather industry is faced with complete ruination.