SAM

Published:
2019-10-09 11:55:30 BdST

Exports nosedive in Q1Body formed to find silver lining of leather sector


FT ONLINE

The government has formed a high-level task force to identify the problems and the way forward for the development of the country's leather sector, officials said.

The 29-member committee incorporated all parties, including ministries of industries, commerce, environment, forest and climate change, fisheries and livestock, labour, the National Board of Revenue, Export Promotion Bureau and trade bodies of the sector to foster greater coordination, they said.

The committee having four ministers will also be responsible for preparing an action plan with recommendations for the growth of the sector, they added.

The Cabinet Division issued a gazette notification on October 02 in this connection.

"The taskforce will scrutinize the overall situation of the leather sector, identify the problems and recommend the way out," according to the gazette.

The development of the sector, market expansion and the way to increase export earnings will also be suggested by the taskforce, it added.

Export earnings from leather and leather products saw a negative growth of 5.06 percent during the first quarter of the fiscal year, 2019-20, according to the government data.

The country fetched $254.39 million in the July-September period of the fiscal '20.

Shipments of leather and leather goods stood at $1.01 billion in the last fiscal, the data showed.

The task force will also prepare guidelines on how to achieve international compliance and standards by following the environment law and related rules of the country.

The body will also work exploring the potential world market and adopt work plans to encourage new innovation and business start-ups and best practices.

The industries' ministry will provide required administrative support to the task force, which will sit four times a year, according to the notice.

When asked, Shaheen Ahmed, chairman of the Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) said the task force is expected to ensure coordination among all related agencies.

"Thus, it will help to address the issues, if any, within the shortest possible time," he noted.

The BTA chief termed compliance, availability of financial support, products and market development and diversification as the major problems of the sector that need to be addressed for its further expansion.

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