To give a boost to the labour-intensive leather and footwear sector, the Commerce and Industry Ministry is looking at formulating some initiatives to support manufacturers such as enhancing availability of raw materials, officials have said.

Measures to support the leather and footwear sector are still at a discussion stage but there are some in the pipeline, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Additional Secretary Rajiv Singh Thakur said while interacting with the media on Tuesday.

Sharing details on the Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP), Thakur said out of ₹1,700 crore allotted for the scheme in January 2022 (till March 31, 2026), so far ₹350 crore had been released under three sub-schemes. These include Integrated Development of Leather Sector, Sustainable Technology and Environmental Promotion (STEP), and Establishment of Institutional Facilities.

However, there are no disbursals under the other three sub-schemes of the programme — Mega Leather Footwear and Accessories Cluster Development, Brand Promotion, and Development of Design Studios.

The IFLDP, which is being implemented with six sub-schemes, is aimed at development of infrastructure for the leather and footwear sector, address environment concerns, facilitate additional investments, employment generation and increase in production.

The industry’s estimated value is around ₹82,000 crore while its exports are around ₹42,000 crore at present, according to DPIIT.

While the sector provides employment to close to 4.42 million people, India’s exports account for only 2.65 per cent of the global export in the sector, it added.