Govt plans excise cut for leather industry

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (UNI) Commerce Minister Kamal Nath today said the government is gearing up to reduce excise duty on leather exports to give a boost to the trade, besides setting up a leather institute on a public-private partnership basis.

''The government is considering to reduce excise duty on leather exports to give a boost to the trade, and will approve funding of a leather design institute based on PPP model to meet the scarcity of leather designers in the country,'' Mr Nath said.

Releasing a book on prospects and problems on Indian leather exports, he said the leather council must endeavor to venture out in new markets, as the industry has a lot of untapped potential.

The book has prepared a roadmap for the country's leather exporters to achieve the export target of seven billion dollars by 2010-11, from the previous target of three billion dollars.

Mr Nath was upbeat about the leather sector's performance and said the government was looking at increasing the competitiveness of the country's leather industry by removing hurdles to unlock the full potential of this industry.

According to Council for Leather Exports (CLE), the exports of leather were at Rs 13,500 crores a year which is about 40 per cent of the total leather and leather products valued at Rs 30,000 crores.

UNI PDT SBA RN1926

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