Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will sit today with the country’s leather sector stockholders to discuss fixing prices and management of rawhide of sacrificial animals during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
The prices of rawhide are expected to increase this year as the government has allowed 1.20 crore square feet wet blue leather export for six companies, said a senior commerce ministry official.The government allowed the export of wet blue leather since the stakeholders had to dump thousands of pieces of rawhide after failure to sell them during the last two years, the official said.
Last year, the government fixed Tk 35 to Tk 40 per square foot of cow hide in Dhaka. Outside Dhaka, the price range was between Tk 28 and Tk 32 per square foot.
For goat hide, the price range was from Tk 13 to Tk 15 per square foot and the price of female goat hide was from Tk 10 to Tk 12 per square foot.
On the other hand, Bangladesh Bank eased the terms of loan rescheduling policy for tannery owners ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, the largest rawhide collection season in the country.
The central bank issued the eased loan rescheduling policy so that the actual tannery owners get the required money for rawhide purchase and preservation, the officials concerned said.
According to the Bangladesh Bank circular, the banks, based on their relationship with customers, would be able to reschedule loans granted to the tannery owners for up to three years, upon 3 percent down payment on the outstanding amount.This year Bangladesh Bank formed a fund of Tk 5.83 billion under states owned five banks and several private commercial banks for lending money to the leather sector entrepreneurs.
Another tanner named Mukta Tannery Ltd is also going to be allowed to export 20 lakh square feet wet blue leather with same conditions, said the commerce ministry sources.
Earlier, five tanners located in the leather industrial city of Hemayetpur in Savar, near Dhaka, got the government approval for exporting wet blue leather within a year to some countries.
The companies are Amin Tannery Limited, Leather Industries of Bangladesh Limited, Quader Leather Complex, ASK Investment and Kalam Brothers.
During the last couple of years, local rawhide market was unusually dull, and many traders had either sold rawhide at throwaway prices or dumped it in water-bodies or other open spaces.
The ban on export of wet-blue leather had been effective since 1990 for protecting the local tannery industry.
The government, in July last year, had taken a decision to allow export of rawhide and wet-blue leather on a “case-to-case” basis, relaxing a section of the existing export policy 2018-21. The decision has come into effect this year.