Power, gas loadshedding: leather industry seeks exemption
In a letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Minister for Commerce and Advisor to the PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources, S M Munir said that power and gas loadshedding was the biggest problem faced by the industry, as it was difficult for the industry to process the skins and hides of sacrificial animals accumulated over Eid-ul-Azha.
He said during the current year Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) had accumulated 35-40 percent of all the sacrificial animals' hides and skins from Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot, Kasur and other parts of the country. According to some estimates, this year around 5.7 million (worth over Rs 6.2 billion) animals were sacrificed throughout the country. Furthermore, he stated that Pakistan was one of the biggest markets of raw hides and skins in Asia and about 30 percent of the total production was generated only on the occasion of Eid.
The loss due to hiring of unprofessional butchers, lack of preservation and storage was already very high, he added. He pointed out that Pakistani leather's quality was considered one of the best in the world that fetched sizeable foreign exchange for the country and also played an important role in job creation and poverty alleviation.
However, in the current loadshedding situation and due to hot and dry climate, it was not possible for the tanning industry to handle all those hides and skins or save them for the future and to complete the foreign orders to make leather garments, bags, footwear and gloves, he said.