Andhra Pradesh woos Indian tanners

4 June 2003

Tamil Nadu-based tanners are considering relocating their factories to Andhra Pradesh following differences with the state government over pollution. According to the All-India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, G Kamal V Rao, vice-chairman/ managing director of Leather Industries Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (Lidcap), presented the schemes offered by the Andhra Pradesh government to the leather industry in Chennai in late April. The tanners' decision to examine the feasibility of a shift is the result of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board's directive on the amount of total dissolved solids in treated tannery effluent. Association members claim the TDS norm is prevalent only in Tamil Nadu. To offset the current level of salt content in the water, the TNPCB wants tanners to establish reverse osmosis plants. Industry sources said this is not viable for a majority of tanneries due to the costs involved. The immediate trigger for the invitation to Lidcap to make a presentation was a show-cause notice issued to tanners in Ranipet. The notice required an undertaking from tanners that a reverse osmosis plant would be established. An association member suggested that the show-cause notice is unwarranted when institutes such as Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) are working on a cost effective solution to the problem. Association members at the presentation by Lidcap said that Andhra Pradesh has offered incentives to Tamil Nadu tanners to shift location by promising infrastructural support and partial exemption and subsidies on stamp duty and capital investment respectively. The Aishtma press release indicated that Lidcap had promised to present details of the incentives offered in about two months.

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