Minister promises infrastructure support to leather industry

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 31, 2011 Published on January 31, 2011

The leather sector should exploit the national manufacturing competitiveness programme to increase skilled human resource and upgrade technology, said the Union Minister for MSME, Mr Virbhadra Singh.

Describing the leather sector as the “jewel in the crown” of the small scale sector, Mr Singh assured Centre's support in infrastructure and technology development. MSMEs are the drivers of the economy accounting for 60 per cent of the jobs generated and 40 per cent of exports.

Nearly 70 per cent of the $3.4-billion leather industry is in the small scale sector, he said in his inaugural address at the 26{+t}{+h} India International Leather Fair.

Mr Salman Khurshid, the Union Minister for Water Resources and Minority Affairs, lauded the leather industry's support in generating jobs for women and minority sections. It illustrates the inclusive growth that is needed for a sustainable economy. For the industry to scale up, the proposed provision in stock exchanges to set up a separate platform for the small-scale sector will address the issue of fund flow for the sector.

Mr Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, urged the Centre to support infrastructure development through the cluster programme. Leather clusters providing space and infrastructure along the lines of that created for textile sector need to be set up. The industry can achieve the target of doubling exports to $8.25 billion by 2013-14 if infrastructure and manpower shortage are addressed, he said.

IILF, the annual flagship event of the leather industry is the largest fair in Asia with participants from 19 countries and the domestic industry showcasing leather products, equipment and services. Technical seminars have also been organised. The event spread over 9,100 sq. mts has more than 400 exhibitors including 128 overseas units.

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Published on January 31, 2011
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