SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday called for large scale investment in setting up prestigious projects to boost leather industry, which will also generate ample employment opportunities for skilled human resource of the state.
The Chief Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting with a delegation of Council for Leather Exports (CLE), led by Chairman, M. Rafeeque Ahmad, here this evening.
Minister for I&C, Chander Parkash, Minister for Finance, Labour & Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister of State for Power, I&C and H&UDD, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas and Commissioner / Secretary, I&C, Shailendra Kumar were also present on the occasion.
Referring to the huge potential of leather-based industry, Mufti Sayeed stressed upon investment in setting up prestigious units, for which skilled labour can be sourced from within the state. He also highlighted the investor-friendly industrial policy of the state as also the Package of Incentives of the Union Government, which will facilitate establishment of leather-based manufacturing units from start-to-finish.
The Chief Minister suggested inclusion of state-based entrepreneurs in CLEs North Zone so that they get the required exposure to understand the intricacies of the processes involved in the manufacture of finished leather products.
During the meeting, it was felt that any prospective entrepreneur must consider setting up of a shoe upper or a full shoe plant in the state in the first instance.
At Industrial Growth Centre, Lassipora, Pulwama, a few tannery units already exist.
The I&C Minister said if large-scale industrial units are set up in leather industry, it will create ample opportunities of employment for skilled workforce in the state.
During the meeting, Director, I&C, Kashmir, gave a presentation on the scenario of leather industry in the valley, with focus on quality of raw material, processes involved and future prospects.
Kashmir leather is well-known and widely admired for its softness and superb grain that is used for making of shoe-wear, saddlery and apparels.
The CLE also made a detailed presentation about export-oriented leather industry, which has an annual turnover of USD 12.5 billion, with USD 6 billion catering to domestic market. The industry employs nearly 2.5 million workers across the country, with 70 per cent of the workforce in southern region comprising women.
India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments and fifth largest exporter of leather goods and accessories.
The other members in the delegation included Vice Chairman, CLE, Subash Kapoor, Regional Chairman, South CLE, P. R. Aqeel Ahmad, Regional Director, North CLE, Sanjay Kumar, Regional Chairman, North, Puran Dawar, Convenor, Saddlery and Harness Panel, Taj Alam and Convenor, Fashion Gloves, Mohammad Yusuf.
Also present on the occasion included MD J&K SIDCO, Amit Sharma and Director Industries, Kashmir, Nazim Zai Khan.
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