POST TIME: 19 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 August, 2019 01:14:36 AM
Rawhide row continues

Rawhide row continues

This year, the rawhide price has hit rock bottom, resulting in many seasonal traders to either throw away the collected skins or leave them on the road. That price would be lower than previous years had been circulating for some time; as a reason, the skin hoarders pointed to unpaid bills by tanners going back to 2018. Reportedly, Tk. 400 crore is still unpaid which resulted in a cash crunch. However, the allegation that syndicates unscrupulously manipulated the market to bring down the price cannot be rejected either. It’s believed that certain groups worked to spread a rumour which then impacted the sales of rawhide across the country. This is indeed abominable since rawhide collected during Eid-ul-Azha has economic plus humanitarian roles. This year, a large number of students from madrasas will face difficulty since the earnings from rawhide will be almost negligible.

On the other hand, discouraged by the current trend, seasonal traders will be wary next year, which will of course provide an open field to certain quarters to make a quick profit. This year, 125 million cattle were slaughtered and as per statistics, every year, 220 tanners process 2.5 billion square feet of leather. Obviously, this is a mammoth operation with the later stages of processed leather involving several industries.

Therefore, it’s imperative that there is transparency in the process from rawhide purchasing to production. If there is a syndicate then this needs to be broken. The immediate need is to find out why the rates were so low this year and if there was a premeditated action behind this or not. Already the precipitous fall in the price of rawhide has triggered a battle of recriminations between the merchants association who buy the hide and the tannery owners who process the leather. The merchants are pointing to unpaid bills while tanners have admitted their payment had become irregular in the last two years.

Though the buy/sale of hide was supposed to have started from August 17, the actual number sold is very little, leaving the issue unresolved and the sector in turmoil. At this point, it’s safe to assume that there was some sort of shenanigans involved in the whole process because even before Eid-ul-Azha, a rumour started swirling that this year, price of hide would be low since there is no cash. The government needs to find out why the tanners failed to pay in the last two years and, if this year’s debacle was part of a carefully constructed devious plot.