POST TIME: 20 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Rawhide crisis
Unpaid dues of skin merchants make market vulnerable

Unpaid dues of skin merchants make market vulnerable

The market of rawhide and skin will become more vulnerable if tanners do not pay the merchants dues within a short time, though the selling of salted rawhides started yesterday.  There was no syndication in the purchase of rawhides during Eid-ul-Azha, though the tanners accused the rawhide and skin merchants of forming a syndicate.  A problem is created in the rawhide and skin market when the tanners don’t pay the dues to merchants.

 Tanners owe to rawhide and skin merchants about Tk. 400 crore since 1990.  President of the Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association (BHSMA) Mohammad Delwar Hossain said this while talking to reporters at his Posta office in Old Dhaka yesterday.

 Merchants have agreed to resume the sale of rawhides of sacrificed animals to tanners from Sunday, backing off from its Saturday’s announcement, thus paving the way to resolve the crisis in the leather industry.

 “The merchants have started selling salted rawhides amid huge dues with tanners. The selling of salted rawhides will be completed within a week in Dhaka. The tanners will begin buying salted rawhides from next week in places outside of Dhaka,” Mohammad Delwar Hossain said.

 He said that the merchants had repeatedly told the tanners that they had no money to purchase rawhides during

Eid-ul-Azha. But many merchants had bought rawhides by borrowing money just to keep their business operational, he added.

 “The situation would have been worse if rawhides had entered the city from the adjacent districts of Dhaka on Eid day. We wouldn’t procure them due to want of money,” Hossain said in reply to a query.

He said the rawhide market was likely to become more vulnerable if tanners did not pay the rawhide and skin traders their dues soon.

“We’ve decided unanimously to sell rawhides from today. We have also angered to retreat from our earlier decision to keep the rawhide sales suspended,” he said.

Replying to a question, Delwar said the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) had been given the responsibility to realise the dues of merchants from tanners.

He said industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and the private industry and investment adviser to the Prime Minister, Salman F Rahman, would work towards resolving the problem.

Delwar also said the skin merchants in Dhaka and outside had around Tk 400 crore dues unpaid by the tanners and hoped the arrears would be paid soon to save this sector.

“The tanners are purchasing salted rawhides as per the prices fixed by the government.

The tanners did not purchase hides in the past two days due to a misunderstanding between the merchants and the tanners,” Md Shakawat Ullah, general secretary of the Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA) told The Independent yesterday.  The problems regarding dues would be solved after a meeting with the FBCCI leaders on August 22, he added.

When asked how the longstanding dues would be paid, the BTA general secretary said, “The issue will be solved through discussions with the concerned stakeholders. The FBCCI will find a practicable solution.”

Before Eid, the commerce ministry had fixed the prices of salt-applied raw hide of cows and buffaloes at Tk. 45-50 per square foot in the capital and Tk. 35-40 elsewhere.

The price of rawhide of castrated goats was fixed at Tk. 18-20 per square foot. For goats not castrated, the price was set at Tk. 13-15.