BREXIT ripples reach UP: Double whammy for Kanpur leather industry

Kanpur: Already reeling under the crackdown of National Green Tribunal, which has ordered closure of 98 leather units for polluting the Ganga, Kanpur's tannery industry braces for another jolt after Britain's exit from the European Union. Over 400 leather goods producers of Kanpur account for nearly 40% of India's total export and earn approximately Rs 6,000 crore annually in foreign exchange.
Add to it 30,000 small and medium ancilliary enterprises and the total number of lives affected by Brexit might touch 10 lakh in Kanpur and Unnao. The total share of export to Britain is about 20%.
"Britain's decision to leave the EU is likely to suck profits from an already wounded business," said Taj Alam, former president UP Leather Industries association. "Leather industry is very much disappointed with this sudden development. And not only leather, I think there would now be a considerable amount of paradigm shift in business and impact on currency. The share market has already started plunging after the announcement," he said.
"It's not just the volume of export to Britain that would be hit. Earlier, there was a common warehouse in England from where goods were distributed to all over other European countries. But now when England is not a part of European Union, more warehouses in different countries would be needed to maintain the flow of distribution. It will ultimately increase the cost," said Sabahat Azahr, an exporter.
"Besides, orders comprising shoes, formal working boots, fashion footwear, belts, saddlery and other leather goods which were placed by Britain and other EU countries six months in advance will suffer a major setback in terms of profit as both Pound and Euro have plunged by about 10% and 5% respectively due to this bad news," Saud Ahmed, another leather exporter, told TOI.

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