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Monday, February 23, 2015, Falgun 11, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 3, 1436 Hijr

Political Turmoil
Tanneries count Tk 1500cr as exports drop sharply
Mizanur Rahman
Published : Monday, 23 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 12

The tannery industry of the country has already suffered a loss of Tk 1500 crore due to the prevailing hartal (strike) and blockade enforced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led 20-party alliance.
"Export has decreased substantially as there is no buyer in this peak leather season," said Shahin Ahmed, Chairman of Bangladesh Tannery Association.
"Tk 1500 crore has been lost as exports dropped by more than half compared to last year, Shipment is being cancelled every day," he said yesterday.
He feared that if the political turmoil continues, the export target of 1,397 million dollars in the current (2014-15) fiscal year will not be reached.
The price of per square foot leather has decreased to $1.5 from $ 1.7 as the global market is facing decline in hide prices, Shahin Ahmed added.
Business sources said the tannery industry suffered a loss of Tk 500-crore in 2013.
Moreover, 40 percent of rawhides are disqualified, chemicals for the tannery are stuck at ports, transportation cost hike and challenges on road, excessive air charge, high interest rate of bank loan and other factors add up to a total loss of Tk 1500 crore.
"Our buyers are leaving us, no new orders are being placed, previous shipments could not be made due to shutdowns, blockades? if this situation continues and the crisis is not resolved within December, we will really be doomed," President of  Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods & Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLFEA) Mohammad Abu Taher said.
In the wake of losses caused by political violence, the association demanded 10 per cent financial assistance against crust and finished hides to protect the industry and long-term soft loan of Tk 5,000 crore.
Shaheen said only 40 per cent work of setting up of the central effluent treatment plant in the zone has been completed so far.

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