Power shortages hit leather industry

Pakistan
Published:  01 September, 2013

The leather sector in Pakistan is facing stagnation and its exports have declined by more than 14% during the last five years from $1.22 billion in fiscal year 2007-08 to $1billion in 2012-13, mainly due to energy crisis and frequent load-shedding of electricity and gas.

A request for uninterrupted electricity supply was made to Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister Water & Power by Pakistan Tanners Association central chairman Agha Saiddain in a letter. Leather sector exports have reduced to 14% against a positive growth in the region with 47%, 40%, and 102% in China, India and Bangladesh, respectively during last five years.

Due to power supply problems the leather sector is facing stagnation in its growth for last 5 years, he added.

He requested to exempt leather tanning sector from load-shedding, as leather processing is a continuous process industry and sudden and lengthy electricity shut downs cause serious damage to the quality of leather resulting into financial loss to the tanning units.

Due to frequent shut-downs the quality is badly affected which results into customer claims and bad image for the country. Leather Sector is providing jobs to more than one million people directly and indirectly and specially to weaker sections of our society.

He said that the tanneries in Pakistan are capable of producing world-class leather if this sector is supported by the government by providing uninterrupted electricity and gas supply.

With little attention the government can raise exports of leather sector from present $1.04 billion to $3 billion in next 2-3 years, he claimed.

Presently 95% of tanned leather is exported in finished form or in the form of leather products such as garment, gloves, footwear, and leather goods. For this reason also the tanning sector may be exempted from load shedding.

Source: The Nation

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