9th annual Agra footwear industry meet begins

Union minister for micro, small and medium industries Kalraj Mishra on Friday inaugurated the ninth edition of 'Meet at Agra', the annual exposition of the footwear industry.

Mishra laid emphasis on skill development so 'Make in India' rings true. He stressed the need for making it easier to do business in India.

Asked about the removal of ministers from the state cabinet, he said, "When the chief minister is not satisfied, how can people be satisfied?"

The three-day fair will be attended by over 190 companies from India, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Taiwan and China.

M Rafeeque Ahmed, recipient of the Padma Shri and chairman of the council of leather exports, said, "The government of India has included synthetic shoes and the upper of footwear in the list of merchandising export, making way for a 2% incentive exemption."

Puran Dawar, president of the Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber (AFMEC), said, "There is lack of innovation in the footwear industry. India has the capability to be the world's factory, for which skill development is essential. The footwear industry in India requires technology upgradation to be able to make goods of high quality."

Dawar said footwear accounts for 42.83% of all leather exports. Agra is the biggest footwear manufacturing hub of the country and has a share of 28% in the exports. 'Meet at Agra' this year is aimed at achieving USD 27 billion exports. Currently, the footwear export business is estimated at 14 billion USD.
Source: TOI

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