Uttar Pradesh once considered to be the leader in the leather industry is now witnessing sinking state of the leather manufacturing units. In last few months, situation has gone bad to worse in the Yogi Adityanath led UP Govt. continue to hunt the illegal slaughter houses.
“Procuring the raw material has become a huge question of survival for us,” commented an entrepreneur who decided to start his entrepreneurial journey by venturing into the leather segment from Kanpur.
The industry that was already performing poor due to slowed exports had further been hit by the strict actions of the newly formed government.
The export data suggest that before the new government took charge in the State, the industry was not in a good shape. In the financial year 2014-2015, the leather exports from Kanpur was worth 3,136 crore rupees, this figure came down drastically to 2,586 crores in the year 2015-16.
Mr Pankaj Gupta, general Secretary of Indian Industries Association explained the issues that are faced by the leather industry in Uttar Pradesh. He re-narrated that the industry is not able to perform well because the raw material stock is almost dry now.
The new UP government announced strict measures for the leather industry. The govt recently ordered crackdown on the illegal slaughter houses. Also many tannery units are being shut as the government found them polluting the water bodies. Also the fear of the vigilantes charging against the people in the skin business continues to haunt the industry.
“In a way the strict measure are welcome and constructive for the society. But, the process that the Government has adopted has made the entire industry go down. As a result of strict measures taken up b the Yogi government, most of the slaughter houses are shut down, which ultimately resulted into the shut down of leather industries,” says Ashok Singh an exporter exporter from the Kanpur region.
Commenting on the crackdown on the illegal slaughter houses IIA’s Gupta mentioned that anything that is not in line with law is illegal and needs to be shut. “All this happened too quickly and the leather units didn’t anticipate this coming, because of which the industry is in panic. There should have been some warnings and some reminders from the govt agencies before taking such action,” says Gupta.
He further spoke of the decision of the government against the tanneries who were found polluting the water bodies. Most of the MSME units comply well with the rules and regulations of the state. It is only few units that violate; action must be taken against those units selectively.
Gupta also said that his industry Associations have formed various representations to address the MSMEs and the environmental concerns. It is essential for the industry to take care of the environment to ensure sustainable development. The Association is exploring the possibilities of setting up effluent treatment plants wherever possible. Also they are planning to approach the government for assistance in this regard.
Commenting upon the rising fears of vigilantes that haunt the leather business in the state he said that no one has the right to take law in their hands. There is proper police and system to take care, the IIA strictly opposes such anti-lawful vigilantisms.