NATORE, Apr 4: The rawhide traders of the district town are in trouble as the sale of their produce has decreased to a great extent following reduction in purchase of the product by the tannery owners of Hazaribag in Dhaka as the government has recently ordered the owners to shift their business to Savar of Dhaka within seven days.
Babul Hossain, a rawhide trader of Chawk Baidyanath area of Natore town said, "Every year at this time, 10 to 12 trucks loaded with rawhide are sent to Dhaka from Natore everyday. But due to the recent announcement related to Hazaribag, the business activities in Natore rawhide market have suffered a blow."
"The traders will incur heavy loss if the situation is not solved soon. Besides, the industry may be destroyed for this reason," he added.
Lutfar Rahman, vice-president Natore Rawhide Merchants' Association, said, the country earns a big amount of foreign currency by exporting hide every year. The concerned officials would take effective steps to save this business, he hoped.
He further said, "The traders here bought huge quantity of skin during the last Eid-ul-Azha. Besides that, they also bought more hide in different times. All the hides are now stored at the godown. If these are not sold in time, these will become damaged."
"At least 300 labourers work at different hide factories here. But now, they are the worst sufferers. They are facing setback in maintaining their families," he added.
Shariful Islam Sharif, president of the Association said, "Natore is the second largest market of rawhide in the country. 50 per cent of the hide against the total demand of the country is supplied from here. But the government's recent announcement about transferring the tannery industry from Hazaribag has caused problem."
"We are neither buying nor selling rawhide for this reason. The traders have become helpless as raw hides worth crores of taka are lying unsold in the godown," he added.
He requested the concerned authority to solve the problem immediately.