Anand Sharma calls for diversification of new markets for Indian leather sector

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New Delhi, Nov 3(ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday said that it would be crucial for the leather industries to diversify into new markets while carving out a greater position in the existing markets.

Sharma said this while meeting a delegation from Footwear design and Development Institute (FDDI), led by its Chairman Rafeeque Ahmed in the national capital.

He also said that the leather industry has to focus more on higher unit value realization in line with the creation of an India brand consciousness.

While appreciating the performance of FDDI, Sharma emphasized that the institutes providing technical training are crucial not only for the growth of the industry, but also for providing employment opportunities and expressed confidence that FDDI would fulfill this responsibility.

The Minister also underlined that the Government is committed towards the integrated development of leather sector, which has tremendous potential for growth and high impact on social equity.

"To give thrust to the sector an allocation of Rs. 1300 crores has been made for the leather sector during the XI Plan. Our various programmes, interventions and trade policies are targeted towards the sustainable development of the leather industry," Sharma said.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has initiated a major initiative during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) under "Indian Leather Development Programme" (ILDP) with an outlay of Rs. 1300 crore for overall development of the leather sector by augmenting raw material base, enhancing capacity, addressing environmental concerns, human resource development, infrastructure development, attracting investment and global marketing of Indian Leather.

Sub-schemes with an outlay of Rs. 1237.52 crores under ILDP have been approved and are at various stages of implementation.

For addressing the issue of shortage of manpower for the leather industry, human resource development programmes has been identified as an important initiative during the 11th Five Year Plan period and the Central Government has approved sub-schemes with outlay of Rs. 442.09 crores under ILDP out of total approved outlay of Rs. 1237.52 crores for this purpose. (ANI)

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