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Govt pays heed to leather industry grievances
09
Feb '08
Bangladesh Finance Adviser on February 7, recommended a submission to the Industry Ministry, of list entailing problems faced by leather and leather goods manufacturers and exporters.

After a meeting at Finance Ministry with the leather industry, Dr Mirza Azizul, the Finance Adviser told reporters, “Specific proposals through the Industries Ministry will be considered as a package”. He also said that the Government, very soon is going to introduce an interest waiver guideline, after which the banks and clients should endeavor to settle mutual disputes.

The first initiative in this regard was taken by a delegation led by Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters' Association (BFLLFEA) Chairman Mohammad Tipu Sultan, along with Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA).

Together, they briefed, the Finance Adviser about the delay in developing the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC)-approved project of Leather Industry Estate in Savar, with a Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and a dumping yard. The project worth Tk545.36 crore is scheduled to be implemented by the year 2010.

Mr Tipu Sultan also lamented saying, “Our leather and leather goods will lose international market unless an environment-friendly industry is developed."

Further, they also demanded low cost loans for relocation of their factories from the Hazaribagh area, Dhaka to the new Estate in Savar and the rearrangement of classified loans on down payment of 4 percent.

In 2006-07, Bangladesh exported processed leather worth US $266 million, footwear worth $136 million, and leather bags and purses totaling $11 million. But, if the grievances are well taken care of, the results for the year 2008 can be remarkably phenomenal.

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