Business Standard

International Leather fair starts to boost markets of West


Press Trust of India Kolkata
Leading leather companies from Japan and Italy joined over 70 Indian companies to showcase quality products at three-day International leather fair starting today to give a fillip to potential leather markets of West Bengal and North-Eastern states.

The objective of the fair is to promote leather markets of West Bengal and North-East as part of the Union government's key "Act East Policy".

The International Leather fair and its concurrent event 2nd Tex-Styles India, 2018 is organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), with its headquarter at Pragati Maidan in the New Delhi with support of Indian Leather Products Association (ILPA).

West Bengal minister for Finance, Industry and Commerce Amit Mitra inaugurated the fair at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata, the venue where Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 was held on 16th & 17th January this year.

Counsel General of of Italy Damiano Francovigh and his German counterpart Michael Feiner graced the occasion.

ITPO Executive Director Deepak Kumar, Mukhtarul Amin, Chairman Council for Leather Exports, Adhar Sahni, President Indian Leather Products Association (IIPA) and Ramesh Kumar Juneja, Chairman CLE (Eastern Region) were present in the function.

The aim of the fair is to make the region of West Bengal and North-East a trade and business hub of South-East Asia, a ITPO statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, Amit Mitra said they have already submitted a Rs 350 crore project for Bantala leather cluster that aims to strengthen, modernise and expand the existing Calcutta leather Complex located in eastern fringes of the city.

"We have already sent a proposal to centre with DIPP for co-funding in the Rs 350 crore project. Meanwhile, we are also not waiting but going ahead with some of the components of the project," Mitra said.

He, however, did not reveal about the amount of co-funding the project.

In the past several years, tanners in the Bantala Leather Complex had complained about inadequate infrastructure which was earlier entrusted on the city based Dalmia group.

However, now the state government has the come forward to support the complex and intends to modernise and expand it further as leather sector is one of the key job providers in the state.

"Already, five lakh people are associated with the sector and I hope additional two lakh more employment would be generated once the project is complete," Mitra claimed.

Among the other components in the project include renovating four effluent treatment plants and building another new four such units.

Desilting of a canal, developing 60 acres for new footwear park in the same location.

Mitra said about 300 fresh applications from Kanpur, Chennai and Kolkata expressing interest in setting up new units here.

Currently, Bengal leather and leather products exports account for about USD one billion out of aggregate exports of 8.5 billion in 2016-17, Mitra said.

He expected the export figure to double over the next few years.

IILF and Tex-Styles India would end on February 28.

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First Published: Feb 26 2018 | 6:20 PM IST

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