The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 8 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Target set for leather park

Calcutta, Jan. 7: The Indian Leather Products Association (ILPA) today said it would step up operations at the leather goods park within the Bantala complex in South 24-Parganas.

The association, comprising exporters of leather items, plans to raise the capacity to 50 per cent in 2013-14 if market conditions remain conducive. Full capacity utilisation is likely within two years.

Spread across 60 acres, the ILPA Leather Goods Park is expected to house 90 exporting units employing around 60,000 people at full capacity. Its current capacity stands at 15 per cent. The construction of the park, which includes a design studio, was completed in 2006.

“The status of the leather goods industry is good but there are some constraints. It is expected to register a 3-4 per cent growth by the end of this fiscal. But the shortage of manpower and labour is a concern. High interest rates, too, are a worry. The industry expects global sourcing and this calls for necessary infrastructure and a proper environment for fashion goods production,” ILPA president Sankar Dawn said.

Bengal had the largest share in the export of leather goods at 52 per cent last year. “Its share could go up 3-4 per cent by the end of this year,” he said. The department of industrial policy and promotion has set a target to double exports to $8.5 billion by 2014-15 as part of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

The ILPA will hold a discussion with K.H. Muniyappa, Union minister of state (independent charge) for MSMEs, and Bengal industries minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday on the achievability of the target and other issues.

“This is achievable… India is eyeing new export markets such as Russia and the Latin American countries. There is competition from Southeast Asia and China. But with India being a manufacturing hub having a strong stock of raw materials, things look bright,” Dawn said.