Merchants to sell rawhide to tanners from today
Published : Monday, 19 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 674
Leaders of Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association (BHSMA) on Sunday announced that they would sell rawhide to tannery owners from today (Monday).
The announcement came a day after they had decided to stop selling rawhide to tanners citing accumulated unpaid dues over the past few years.
They said this at a high profile meeting organised by the Commerce Ministry at the ministry office in the capital.
Prime Minister's Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman, Commerce Secretary Md Mofizul Islam, Industry Secretary MA Halim, FBCCI Senior Vice-President Siddiqur Rahman, Tanners Association leaders Mohiuddin Ahmed Mahin, Syed Nasim Manzoor, M Saiful Islam, Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association president Delwar Hossain, representatives of Dinajpur, Chattogram, Rajshahi, Natore, Kushtia, Feni and Bogra districts were also present.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun presided over the meeting.
The tannery owners, at the meeting, pledged to buy the rawhide of animals for the next three months.
At the same time, they also promised to pay the arrears of the rawhide merchants. Another meeting will be held on August 22 where FBCCI will mediate the issues related to dues between the tanners and warehouse owners Rawhide merchants said they would resume sales to tanners and the FBCCI would act as a mediator amid a standoff between the two parties over dues.
A day after Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association announced a halt to sales to tanners citing dues. The Commerce Ministry on Sunday called a meeting of the stakeholders of the leather industry to find a way out of the crisis.
"We've unanimously decided to resume rawhide sales today," the association's President Mohammad Delwar Hossain told the media after the meeting.
The Prime Minister's Adviser and the Minister tasked the FBCCI with acting as the go-between, Delwar said, adding that the apex trade body had called a meeting on Aug 22 to resolve the problems.
Delwar also said the Skin Merchants in Dhaka and outside have around Tk 400 crore dues to the tanners. "We hope the tanners will pay our arrears shortly."
A large part of the demand for leather in Bangladesh is fulfilled through the rawhides of animals sacrificed on Eid. However, allegations of the hides being sold for less than the price set by the government has been rampant this Eid.
The situation took a turn for the worse when wholesalers began offering meager prices for hides or stopped purchasing it entirely. Seasonal traders subsequently dropped their stock on the streets to rot.
The Industry Minister said, "Export of rawhide is a process. I cannot take off the rawhide export if I want to. The FBCCI will monitor so that the leather market is not destroyed. "
The Minister said the leather industry is an important sector after the garment. In the future, the leather industry will try to develop as a main sector of the country. He blamed the BNP for wasting rawhide in Chattogram.
He said the government would not duck its responsibilities regarding the issue as leather is an "important industry".
The government was making guidelines for the industry and seeking a permanent solution, he said.
The government then lifted the bar on export of rawhide to ensure reasonable prices, leading to accusations from the BNP that it was plotting to destroy the leather industry.
Ministers have said the government will look into the allegation of market manipulation by a syndicate. Salman F Rahman said this time 10,000 rawhides out of one crore were wasted. Every year 5000 rawhides are wasted.
He said, "Representatives from the different districts said more rawhides were wasted in Chattogram and Sylhet. There was no such thing in Natore and other districts. Something went wrong in Kushtia district.
Salman said he hoped the problems would be resolved through discussions.