POST TIME: 19 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 August, 2019 01:34:49 AM
Rawhide crisis ‘goes’
Tanners to start purchase of salted rawhides and skins immediately

Rawhide crisis ‘goes’

The crisis over rawhide is all set to be resolved with the tanners start buying salted rawhides and skins from rawhide and skin merchants immediately in accordance with the decision of a tripartite meeting yesterday. As part of the move, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has been given the responsibility to hold a meeting with rawhide and skin merchants and tanners by August 22. Also, the government is planning to formulate a ‘rawhide and skin policy’ to resolve the crisis in the leather industries. Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, disclosed this while briefing reporters after the tripartite meeting held at the commerce ministry yesterday (Sunday).

Industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, senior secretary in the commerce ministry, Mofizul Islam, leaders of Bangladesh Tanners' Association (BTA) and Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association (BHSMA) attended the meeting, among others. He said only 10,000 pieces of rawhides and skin have been damaged, which is very insignificant.

“The FBCCI leaders will hold a meeting with the leaders of the Bangladesh Tanners' Association (BTA) and the Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association (BHSMA) on August 22 to settle the monetary crisis and dues of rawhide and skin traders. If the FBCCI leaders fail to reach a concrete decision, then the ministry concerned will take the responsibility,” Salman F Rahman said.

“Around one crore pieces of rawhides are produced during Eid-ul-Azha. Normally 5,000 pieces of rawhides are damaged every year. This year, only 10,000 pieces of rawhides were damaged,” the private industry and

investment advisor to the PM said.  

He said the district representatives of Chattogram and Sylhet have said many rawhides were damaged in their respective districts, while the Natore district representative said not a single rawhide was damaged in his district.

Regarding exports of rawhides and skins, Rahman said, “A decision will be taken based on the situation.”

The BNP is trying to gain mileage by politicising the rawhide issue, the private industry and investment advisor to the Prime Minister said, adding that the BNP has moved away from politics.

Mahmud Humayun said 10,000 pieces of rawhides out of one crore pieces were damaged on account of the hot weather.

“A vested quarter is involved in a conspiracy when the nation is moving forward. The district representatives informed us that 0.5 per cent rawhides are damaged every year,” the industries minister said.

The rawhide and skin merchants did not complain earlier in respect of their dues, he said, adding that the FBCCI leaders will mediate regarding the dues. “The seasonal rawhide traders are not involved with this business. They lost their sense after losing their invested capital. Such seasonal traders misguided the media,” Mahmud Humayun said. He said there is no crisis in rawhides, and a rawhide and skin policy would be formulated soon.

“We’ll sit with FBCCI leaders on August 22 to resolve the crisis, including outstanding dues. They’ll resolve the problems through discussions with the two parties. If the FBCCI fails to reach a concrete decision in this, then the PM’s advisor and industries minister will take steps in this regard,” BHSMA president Delwar Hossain told reporters after the meeting.

In reply to a query, he said sales of salted rawhides have already started.

The country’s rawhide business is in an alarming state on account of the unprecedented free fall in rawhide prices during Eid-ul-Azha, the worst rawhide season the sector has seen in a decade.

Against this backdrop, a tripartite meeting between the government, tannery owners and rawhide and skin merchants was held at the commerce ministry in the Secretariat yesterday (Sunday) to solve the ongoing crisis centred on rawhides.

Earlier, on Saturday, BHSMA leaders announced they would keep rawhide sales suspended till their outstanding dues of Tk. 400 crore, lying with many tannery owners, are paid.

The hide traders and tanners are blaming each other for the worst rawhide season the sector has seen in a decade.