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Primitive people, who lived during the Ice Age some 500,000 years ago, were likely the first to use the skins of animals to protect their bodies from the elements. Just as leather today is a byproduct, our ancient ancestors hunted animals primarily for food, but once they had eaten the meat, they would clean the skin by scraping off the flesh and then sling it over their shoulders as a crude form of a coat. They also made footwear to protect their bare feet from rocks and thorns by taking smaller pieces of animal skin made to fit loosely over the foot and tied at the ankle with thin strips of skin or even vines. The main problem that primitive man encountered was that after a relatively short time the skins decayed and rotted away. With his limited knowledge and experience, primitive man had no idea how to preserve these hides. As centuries passed it was noticed that several things could slow down the decay of leather. If the skins were stretched out and allowed to dry in the sun, it made them stiff and hard but they lasted much longer. Various oily substances were then rubbed into the skins to soften them. As time passed, it was eventually discovered that the bark of certain trees contained "tannin" or tannic acid, which could be used to convert raw skins into what we recognize today as leather. It is quite hard to substantiate chronologically at exactly what time this tanning method materialized, but the famous "Iceman" dating from at least 5,000 BC discovered in the Italian Alps several years ago, was clothed in very durable leather. Somewhat later, techniques used by the American Indian are very similar to those used in this early period. These Indians took the ashes from their campfires, put water on them and soaked the skins in this solution. In a few weeks the hair and bits of flesh came off, leaving only the raw hide. This tanning method, which used a solution of hemlock and oak bark, took about three month
Development of leather:The uses of leather: - (from primitive people to 19th century) The making of leather goods: -
STAGES:The Egyptians: The tanning of leather was used by mankind in numerous geographical areas throughout the early periods of human civilization. As certain leather characteristics began to emerge, men realized leather could be used for many purposes besides footwear and clothing. The uses and importance of leather increased greatly. For example, it was discovered that water would keep fresh and cool in a leather bag. It was also found suitable for such other items as tents, beds, rugs, carpet, armor and harnesses. Ancient Egypt, one of the most developed civilizations in this early period, valued leather was as an important item of trade. The Egyptians made leather sandals, belts, bags, shields, harness, cushions and chair seats from tanned skins. Many of these items are in fact still made from leather today.
The greeks :Similarly, the Greeks and Romans used leather to make many different styles of sandals, boots and shoes. When the Roman legions marched in conquest across Europe, they were well attired in leather armor and leather capes. In fact, right up until the early 18th century, the shield carried by the ordinary soldier was more likely to be made of leather than metal. The ancient Greeks refer to eight basic guilds of artisans, which included both shoemakers and tanners. Although tanning was originally a cottage trade, the Greeks had full-time professional tanners who were at first employed in leather processing establishments and became independent some time later. The barks of conifers and alder were used as tannin sources and so were the peel of the pomegranate, sumach leaves, walnut, cups of acorns as well as an Egyptian heritage - mimosa bark. The Greeks were also familiar with alum tanning and it appears they knew something about tanning with fish oil. The types of leathers used were as diversified as the end users. Homer refers to the use of cowhide, goat and weasel leather by the Greeks. The romans:The edict issued by the Roman emperor Diocletian which fixed ceiling prices for all kinds of goods and services included skins and leather prepared from goats, sheep, lambs, hyenas, deer, wild sheep, wolves, martens, beaver, bears, jackals, seals, leopards and lions. Under the edict, cowhide was even classified according to groups and qualities. A complete tannery in the famous ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii was unearthed in 1873. As we move into the Middle Ages, leather continued to increase in popularity. By far the cleverest craftsmen with leather in medieval times were the Arabs. The Moors developed remarkable skill primarily in the preparation of beautiful goatskin still known as morocco leather after the country of its origin. In fact the description 'genuine morocco' is still very highly regarded today, particularly in the manufacture of small leather goods.
England:In Medieval England, most industries were carried out by master craftsmen aided by apprentices under the supervision of the appropriate Craft Guilds. The leather trade was represented by a large number of guilds including Cordwainers, Corriers, Fletchers, Girdlers, Glovers, Homers (Bottle makers), Leather Sellers, Loriners, Saddlers, Skinners, Pursers, Tanners and Harness-makers as well as others. All kinds of containers were made from leather, such as sword cases and dagger sheaths, box coverings and water bottles, many of them beautifully decorated by punching and incising. Leather was also a favorite medium for decorative art. Leather was used to cover books. In those days, when the horse was the principal means of transport, saddler and harness making were important uses of leather. Until the later part of the 19th century, there were relatively few changes in the methods used to produce leather. In fact, the process had changed very little in over 200 years. However, the industrial revolution did not bypass tanning - one of the oldest and most basic forms of manufacturing. Science was quickly introduced to the art and craft of leather making. A wider range of dyestuffs, synthetic tanning agents and oils were introduced. Together with precision machinery, these changes and continued innovations to the present day have combined to make tanning into a viable, modern manufacturing industry.
processes of leather:
Leather, animal skin that has been chemically modified to produce a strong, flexible material that resists decay. Almost all the world output of leather is produced from cattle hides and calfskins, goatskins and kidskins, and sheepskins and lambskins. Other hides and skins used include those of the horse, pig, kangaroo, deer, reptile, seal, and walrus. Leather is used for a wide range of products. The variety of skins and the way they are processed can produce leather as soft as cloth or as hard as a shoe sole. Cattle hides, the major raw material for leather production, range from being lightweight and supple to tough and strong. Tough hides are used in the production of the durable leather required for soles of shoes, machine belting, engine gaskets, and harnesses. Calfskin is lighter and finer grained, and is used for making fine leather suitable for such articles as shoe uppers. Sheepskin is soft and supple; it yields the type of leather suitable for gloves, jackets, and other apparel. Since ancient times, human beings have used animal skins and learned to make leather. The process of using chemicals to turn skins into leather is called tanning.
The raw materials used by the leather industry originate largely as by-products of the meat-packing industry. Before entering the tanning process, the raw skins are "cured" by salting or drying them promptly after being removed from the slaughtered animal. The more common methods used in curing require the use of salt (sodium chloride) in one of two ways: wet-salting or brine-curing. In wet-salting, the skins are liberally salted and piled on top of one another until they form a pack. They are left in the pack for about 30 days to allow the salt to thoroughly penetrate the skin. Brine-curing is a much quicker method. In agitated brine-curing, the method
most commonly used, skins are placed in large vats called raceways that contain a disinfectant and brine maintained close to full salt saturation. After about 16 hours in the raceway, the skins are completely penetrated by the salt.
Soaking And Unhairing
The cured skins are soaked in pure water to eliminate salt, blood, and dirt, and also to replace moisture lost in the curing process. After the skins have soaked for a period varying from two hours to seven days, the flesh is removed mechanically from the inner surface. To loosen the hair, the skins are then immersed for one to nine days in a solution of lime and water containing a small amount of sodium sulfide. Following this operation the hair is easily removed by a dehairing machine, and the distinctive pattern known as the grain can be distinguished on the outer surface of the skin. To ensure clear, clean surfaces, any remaining flesh and hair is scraped off, usually by hand with a dull knife, by a process called scudding.
Deliming And Bating
The next operation involves deliming the skins by soaking them in a weak solution of acid, which reduces the swelling caused by the lime. Simultaneously, most types of skins are treated with a "bating" material consisting of enzymes to give a smoother grain and render the skin soft and flexible. The amount of bating varies greatly, from none at all for sole leather to a concentrated treatment for leather to be used in kidskin gloves. After the deliming and bating operations, the stock can be tanned. Each type of skin may be treated by several tanning processes. The process is chosen according to the use for which the leather is intended. The two principal tanning processes are mineral, or chrome, tanning, and vegetable tanning. Chrome tanning often can be completed in a single day, whereas vegetable tanning requires many weeks or months. Vegetable tanning results in a firmer leather with greater water and stretch resistance. Chrome tanning shrinks the stock and produces a longer-wearing leather with greater resistance to heat. The processes are sometimes combined to derive some of the advantages of each.
In this process the tanning agent, which renders the skin immune to decay and prevents shrinkage, is a substance known as tannin. Tannin is extracted from the bark, wood, fruit, and leaves of trees. Chestnut wood, oak bark, and hemlock bark are the major domestic sources of the tannin used by the United States leather industry. Foreign sources, which provide more than 80 percent of the tannin supply, include the wood of the quebracho tree of South America, mangrove bark from the island of Borneo, wattle bark from South Africa, and myrobalan fruit from India. In vegetable tanning the hides are suspended from rocking frames in a series of vats containing increasingly stronger tannin solutions, called liquors. After several weeks the hides are transferred to a "layaway" section, which consists of larger vats containing still stronger liquors. Each week more tannin is added to the liquor, until the hides have absorbed enough tannin to complete the process. The last stages of the process may be Flexible vegetable-tanned leathers to be used for belting, luggage, upholstery, or harnesses are less heavily tanned than the leather intended for shoe soles.
The mineral tanning process is known as chrome tanning because the tanning agent used most frequently is a salt compound of chromium. Chrome-tanned leathers, which stretch more than vegetable-tanned leathers, are suitable for handbags, shoe uppers, gloves, and garments. To prepare the stock for chrome tanning, the bated skins are pickled in a solution of salt and acid. The skins are then immersed in a basic chromium-sulfate solution within a large revolving drum that tumbles the skins. This type of liquor penetrates the skins so rapidly that tannage is accomplished in less than a day. The chrome process originally involved the use of two different liquors, both solutions of compounds of chromium, and required substantially more time. Known as the two-bath process, it is still used for some varieties of leather. Aluminum or zirconium compounds may be used in place of chromium in the production of white leather. Alum, formaldehyde, gluteraldehyde, and synthetic tannins (Syntans) are also used to impart special characteristics. In the production of combination-tanned leather, the skin is first chrome-tanned and then retained with vegetable tannins. The modified applications of both processes produce leather with some of the advantages of each type.
Combination tanning involves the use of both the chrome-tanning and vegetable-tanning methods. Combination tanning is used for leathers with special qualities, such as extremely soft garment, glove, or shoe upper leathers. In today’s tanneries, most leather is chrome tanned, either as the complete tanning process, or as a preten for vegetable tanning. Pertaining speeds up the vegetable-tanning process ands also gives vegetable-tanned leather more flexibility. Some shoe sole are vegetable tanned, but usually they are per tanned with a chrome tan.
Oil tanning is used for the chamois leather that is made from sheepskin. First the wool is removed from the sheepskin and the skin is split into layers. The flesh split is used for chamois, and workers being by shaving the split to remove the cells. Next, they put the shaved split into a machine that hammers cod-liver oil into the skin. After the oil has penetrated it, the skin is removed from the machine and dried. It is then buffed to soften it and to give it a nap. Saddle leather and leather seals used on some machinery are also oil tanned. However, they are pretanned with chrome before being oil tanned Final process
After tanning, all types of leather undergo various operations that differ according to the use of the desired product. Vegetabletanned leather for shoe soles is first bleached a lighter color. Next, it is infused with such materials as epsom salts, oils, and glucose, and then lubricated with hot emulsions of soap, greases, and sometimes wax. Finally, the stock is run through rolling machines to give the leather a desired degree of firmness and a high gloss. Chrome-tanned leather intended for shoe uppers is split and shaved to the desired uniform thickness. It is then placed in a rotating drum for the dyeing process, which usually involves the use of several types of coloring materials to achieve color fastness and durability. Before or after dyeing, the leather is rolled in a "fat liquor," which contains emulsified oils and greases. More than 100 leather colors exist, ranging from traditional tans and browns to such exotic shades as fuchsia and turquoise.After dyeing and fat-liquoring, the stock is stretched for drying. Workers paste the stock on frames made of glass or ceramics or "toggle" it on perforated metal frames. The frames are then conveyed through drying tunnels with controlled heat and humidity.
Heavy leathers are finished by coating the grain surface with a finishing compound, and finally by brushing it under a revolving, brush-covered cylinder. The grain surface of light leathers is buffed, or sandpapered, to correct imperfections in the skin. Buffing the flesh side of leather raises the nap and produces the popular leather known as suede. For smooth finishes, most light leather is seasoned, or treated with a mixture of such materials as waxes, shellac or emulsified synthetic resins, dyes, and pigments. Pigments are used sparingly to avoid a painted look. Glazing gives the grain a highly polished surface. Several coats of thick, oily varnish are required to give patent leather its characteristic high gloss.
Today, many artificial substances are produced and sold as "leather goods." These modern synthetics include such plastics as polyvinyl chloride and nonwoven fibers impregnated with binders. These materials lack leather's porous quality, pliable nature, and resilience. However, the artificial materials cost less to produce than leather and have come to command a large share of the leather market, particularly in shoe soles.
The leather industry comprising of tanning & finishing, footwear & footwear components, leather garments, leather goods including saddler & harness etc. segments is the fourth largest foreign exchange earner for India. Leather industry in India is spread over organized as well as unorganized sector. Though traditionally the Indian leather industry has been an exporter of tanned hides and skins, in the early seventies itself, it set its sights on becoming a major player in the leather products segments. The industry uses primarily indigenous natural resources with little imports. Leather industry employs 2.5 million persons. A large part (nearly 60-65%) of the production is done by the Small/Cottage Sector. The annual export value of Leather industry is poised to touch about 2 billion US dollars. Leather industry is amongst top 8 export earners for India. An estimated 15% of total purchase of leading global brands in footwear, garments, leather goods & accessories in Europe, is outsourced from India. Most companies in India are ISO Certified Leather industry has a large scope to grow in near future. Export Potential Union commerce and industry ministry has identified the leather industry as a thrust sector in view of significant export growth prospects and enormous employment potential, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas. It is visioned that the industry would generate a revenue of $7 billion by 2010 through exports from the present level of $2.3 billion, besided generatingover one million additional jobs in the country. Value-added leather products at present constituted nearly 80 per cent of India's leather exports, with footwear alone (both leather and non-leather) accounting for 36 per cent marking the transition of India from an exporter of raw hides and skins to a reliable source of value-added leather products.
Foreign Trade Policy and Export Promotion The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) announced on 31st August 2004 takes an integrated view of the overall development of India’s foreign trade. The Policy sets the core objectives, identifies key strategies, spells out focus initiatives, outlines export incentives, and also addresses issues concerning institutional support including simplification of procedures relating to export activities during the next five years starting from 1st September, 2004. Other measures suggested in the policy include : i. ii. iii. Duty free entitlements of import trimmings, embellishments and footwear components for Leather industry increased to 3percent of FOB value of exports. ii, Duty free import of specified items for leather sector increased to 5 percent of FOB value of exports. iii. Machinery and equipment for Effluent Treatment Plants for Leather industry shall be exempt from Customs Duty
The threshold limit of designated ‘Towns of Export Excellence’ has been reduced from Rs.1000 crore to Rs.250 crore in these thrust sectors. India’s top industries West Bengal is one of the country's top state for export of finished leather goods. 70% of the country's leather goods are exported from West Bengal. Bata India Limited is India's largest manufacturer and marketer of footwear products. Bata India sells 60 million pairs of footwear products per year throughout India and in overseas markets such as USA, UK, Europe, Middle East and Far East. Its registered office is at S.N.Banerjee Road, Kolkata. It has 5 plants near Kolkata. Main plant is located in Bata agar near Kolkata. Bata India secures its leather supply from two tanneries in Mokamehghat (Bihar) and Bata agart6 (West Bengal). The numbers of manufacturing industries engaged in leather products are 538. West Bengal Leather Industrial Development Corporation provides market facilities for the leather products manufactured by small scale industries located in the state. The export market for leather products is very high for good quality leather footwear's and leather crafts and articles. The exports are mainly to European countries as Germany, Italy, UK, France etc.
One of the major determinants of the quality of a leather upholstered piece is the type of leather used. All leather is the product of animal hides. However, these hides vary greatly in their quality. The origin of the hides, the way in which they're converted to leather and the method used to dye the hides all contribute to their value. Leather can be of various types depending on the animal hide used and the method of processing. Leather material has the following categories: Cow Leather Embossed Cow Leather Pig Split Suede PU Synthetic Leather PU Shoe Leather Synthetic Leather Garment PU Leather Semi PU Artificial Leather PU Leather for Sofa Dry Salted Sheepskin Raw Frozen Red Deer Skin Full Grain Leather Pig Split Leather Upholstery Split Leather Crust Finished Leather Dorper Skin Cattle Head Skin Coloured Rabbit Skin Raw Leather PVC Leather
Crocodile Skin Tannery Leather
Performance of Leather Industry
Introduction Indian Leather industry is spread over organized as well as unorganised sector. The unorganised sector i.e. small scale cottage and artisan sectors account for over 75% of the total production. Though traditionally the industry has been an exporter of tanned hides and skins, from the early seventies itself, it set its sights on becoming a major player in the leather product segments. The industry uses primarily indigenous natural resources with little dependence on imported resources. Licensing Policy After de-reservation of 11 items in leather sector, which include semi-finished hides and skins, leather shoes, leather washers and laces, moulded rubber soles and heels for footwear, flexible polyurethane foam, polyurethane shoes soles, show-tacks & eyelets and leather pickers and other leather accessories for textile industry, vide Notification No SO 603(E) dated 29th June, 2001, no industrial licence is required for manufacture of most of the items of the leather industry. However, the location of industrial projects will be subject to Central or State environmental laws and regulations including local zoning and land use laws and regulations. Industrial undertakings desiring to set up industrial undertakings for manufacture of these items have to only file an Industrial Entrepreneurs' Memorandum (IEM) in the prescribed format, with requisite fees to Secretariat for Industrial Assistance in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi-110011. However, some of the items of the Leather industry viz. leather shoe uppers (closed), leather sandals and chappals leather garments, industrial leather gloves, leather suitcase and travel goods, leather purses and hand bag, fancy leather goods and novelty items, watch straps and leather straps of all type are still reserved for exclusive manufacture by the small scale sector. Small scale sector units are defined in terms of investment in plant and machinery. Non-small scale units can manufacture these items after obtaining industrial licence, which is granted subject to an export obligation of 50% of the production in each year.
Export Potential Leather industry has been identified as one of the thrust areas of exports. Footwear sector has been identified as an area of extreme focus. Exports from leather sector accounts for about 4% of India's total exports. Backed by a strong raw-material base and large reservoir of traditionally skilled and competitive labour force, the Indian leather industry has made significant strides during the past two decades. Export performance of the leather sector went up from Rs. 3,036 crore during 1991-92 to Rs. 9,004 crore in 2000-01. The export of leather and leather products during April 2001 to October 2001 is Rs. 5411 crore. National Leather Development Programme (NLDP) A UNDP assisted National Leather Development Programme (NLDP Phase-I) has been executed by the Department from 1992 to 1998. The UNDP had contributed about US $ 17 million for the Programme. The Government of India provided counterpart funding of about US $ 11.065 million. The Programme was aimed at integrated development of leather industry through selected institutions/ agencies in the country.The Programme was successful in upgrading training systems for design and manufacture of footwear garments and leather goods. Research and Development work has got a fillip under the Programme. The response from the artisan community and small enterprises clusters has been very encouraging towards the Programme. Small Industries Development And Employment Programme in Leather Sector Based on the perceived needs of the leather sector, the second phase of NLDP, namely Small Industries Development and Employment Programme in the Leather Sector (SIDENLDP) had commenced with UNDP assistance from August, 1998. The SIDE-NLDP is executed by the Department for the development of the leather sector with focus of promoting poverty alleviation and sustained livelihood and building linkages between the organised and unorganised sectors. The present UNDP allocation towards the SIDE-NLDP is US$ 7.15 million. Present term of SIDE-NLDP is upto 31st March, 2002. Indian Leather Development Programme To complement and supplement the ongoing NLDP/SIDE-NLDP, a new Plan scheme titled Indian Leather Development Programme (ILDP) has been in operation during the Ninth Plan (1992-97) period. The objectives of ILDP are mainly to bridge critical gaps in infrastructure for integrated development of leather industry,to activate national agencies towards tackling perceived gaps in the industry, to promote and accredit productivity, value addition and employment, to undertake investment /
trade development activities and build up an information base for leather industry. From 1997-98 to 2000-01, under ILDP, decentralised common facility centres and design studios have been supported. INTECHMARTs (investment cum technology promotion events) were also sponsored during the important leather fairs held at Chennai and Delhi. Productivity improvement programmes have been launched for improving the manufacturing processes of footwear in the organised sector. Assistance is being provided for growth of footwear component industry in the country. One Display Centre for components is operational at Hyderabad. A Scheme for Tannery Modernisation was launched under ILDP in January, 2000. The scheme seeks to provide the much needed financial help to the tanneries of India for adoption of more efficient and cleaner process technologies for improving their performance in terms of productivity and pollution control. The scheme has been well received by the industry and has generated visible results in terms of quality of leather being produced by modernized units. Women Entrepreneurs in the Leather Industry Women are employed in large numbers in Indian leather industry and are making important contribution to the national economy as well as to exports. Women are involved in footwear production in Athani (Karnataka), Rajasthan, Agra (UP) and Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet and Vaniambadi (Tamil Nadu). Their entry into productive work has helped considerably in improving their household situation.With the `take off' of the footwear industry, especially in the last 20 years and the rapid rise of exports,women's employment has increased. Source: Annual Report 2001=-02, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion)
Leather Industry (Ambernath)
The leather industry is poised for major growth, in the coming decade. It is hoped that Maharashtra will play a significant role in increasing India's share of international leather trade. In fact, because of globalization of the Indian economy, numerous opportunities are available for the state's sustained growth in this sector. The leather and product industries of Maharashtra are centered around Mumbai, the inherent strengths being a comfortable raw material base, skilled labor and the already well established leather/leather goods industry. Some of the positive signs are : Visible signs of international leather industries shifting their manufacturing bases from Europe to Asia is imminent, Attractive government incentives for value addition and Keenness amongst large industrial houses to invest in the leather sector. Leather Complex at Mumbai (Addl. Ambernath) The tanning industry at Maharashtra is functioning under severe constraints and sub-optimal working conditions, besides widespread environmental degradation. The proposed leather complex at Additional Ambernath is expected to resolve most of these problems with basic infrastructural facilities that are required for significant growth of the leather and leather product sector. Another major problem confronting the state's leather industries, i.e. treatment and disposal of wastewaters, will be solved with common treatment facilities. This Leather complex initiative would also provide new vitality to the local ancillary industries. The Additional Ambernath Export Promotion Leather Complex Zone is 90 minutes away from Mumbai at a distance of 65 km and admeasuring about 80 Hectares. The complex has state-of-the-art infrastructure and a readymade tenements-cum-work place for footwear leather goods manufacturing; besides it has full concern for environmental regulations. The basic objectives of the Ambernath Leather Complex are: To create a basic, concentrated capacity for converting raw hides and skins into economical and quality finished leather, and for providing a cost effective raw material base for the leather products industry. To affect quality control from the grass root level. Cost effective processing of raw materials with minimal inventory levels. Assured delivery schedule for exports
Swift adaptation to changing fashions in the international markets for leather products.
Dharavi leather shops
One would hardly expect anything but sludge, squalor, and stench in Dharavi — Asia’s largest slum. And you definitely wouldn’t expect an entire market of shops selling exclusive leather items at practically half the price. So if shopping for a trendy leather jacket or hand-bag at a place like The Hilton Towers or Hidesign burned holes in your pocket, then the Dharavi leather shops are sure to ease the strain off a limited budget. Road, over 150 leather goods shops constitute Dharavi’s leather market. These slums are home to the largest number of leather tanneries in the city, which is why Dharavi is the focal point from which the Mumbai’s leather industry radiates. While most retail themselves, they also sell in bulk to larger stores. “Buyers often come from outside the city and the country to buy these leather goods,” says Vakeel Shaikh of Gag-Bit Leather Boutique. “In fact, some of our export quality stuff isn’t even put up for sale in these shops, they are directly transported outside the country,” he adds. The prices of the goods here depend largely on the quality of leather, which is categorised into gradations of A, B, and C, with A being the finest. Premium leather primarily comes fro Situated near the ONGC office; stretching over a large expanse of the SionBandra Link m places like Kolkata and Kanpur, while the more average qualities are procured from the Dharavi tanneries. Texture-based variants also exist ranging from soft leather, dry leather, shiny/Dharavi leather, and finally hard leather, which is considered to be of top quality, and most expensive. So, while cheap leather jackets may start at Rs 1000, the best, export quality variety may cost anywhere up to a whopping Rs 4000. Women’s handbags vary from Rs 300 rupees to Rs 1500 rupees, depending on size, quality, and finish. So don’t be surprised if the very same leather overcoat you spent a hefty Rs 3500 rupees on at a fancy, well-reputed, leather shop in town, is hanging at a shop in Dharavi for a mere sum of Rs 1500. The place, thus, is definitely worth a visit.
Indian Footwear Industry
The Footwear Industry is a significant segment of the Leather Industry in India. India ranks second among the footwear producing countries next to China. The industry is labour intensive and is concentrated in the small and cottage industry sectors. While leather shoes and uppers are concentrated in large scale units, the sandals and Chappals are produced in the household and cottage sector. India produces more of gents’ footwear while the world’s major production is in ladies footwear. In the case of Chappals and sandals, use of non-leather material is prevalent in the domestic market. The Indian footwear industry is provided with institutional infrastructure support through premier institutions like Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai, Footwear Design & Development Institute, Noida, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, etc in the areas of technological development, design and product development and human resource development. The availability of abundant raw material base, large domestic market and the opportunity to cater to world markets makes India an attractive destination for technology and investments. Import In 1999, the global import of footwear (leather and non-leather) in terms of value was around US$ 43278 million, accounting a share of 63.42% in the total global import of leather and leather products. Out of this, import of leather footwear alone accounted for US$ 26379 million and non-leather footwear US$ 16899 million. Export India’s export of Leather Footwear touched US$ 331 million in 1999-2000, recording an increase of 3.29% over the preceding year. India thus holds a share of 1.25% in the global import of leather footwear. The major markets for Indian Leather Footwear are the U.K., the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, France and Russia. Nearly 71% of India ‘s export of Leather Footwear is to Germany, the U.S.A., the U.K and Italy. In 1999-2000, export of leather footwear from India constituted 21% share of its total export of leather and leather products. Nearly 33 million pairs of various types of leather footwear were exported during the year, out of which shoes / boots constituted 90%.
The different types of leather footwear exported from India are dress shoes, casuals, moccasins, sport shoes, horrachies, sandals, ballerinas, booties.
TATA INTERNATIONAL:Tata International is India's leading footwear manufacturer and exporter. Versatile and flexible manufacturing facilities in Dewas, Chennai and New Delhi in India, reinforced with state of the art production units have helped Tata International emerge as a leading footwear manufacturer and exporter. As a footwear manufacturer and exporter we have a high-end full shoe facility, Graziella Shoes Limited located at Chennai, established in a 50-50 Joint Venture with Pucci SRL of Italy. This footwear manufacturing facility produces 3,000 pairs per day of Full Shoes with Italian Unit Soles and Indian Uppers. The high-quality shoes are sold to well established brands. Tata International's large and well-equipped production facilities at Dewas, Chennai and Delhi are both versatile and flexible. Orders from 500 pairs to 2,50,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) pairs can be handled with equal ease.Annual Capacity of our Leather Footwear division : Shoe Uppers 3 million pairs Full Shoes 2 million pairs. Leather Tanning Industry TATA offer the following products used in the leather Tanning Industry: Basic chrome sulphate Sodium dichromate Potassium bichromate Water Treatment Chemicals
Tatas to bring Lloyd to Indian market
After having established itself in the leather export markets, $1.6-billion Tata International is foraying into the retail leather segment. As a first step, the company is launching Europe's premium luxury shoe and leather accessories brand, `Lloyd' of Germany, in India. "We have been in the leather exports business for long, and now, we want to be an integrated player in this space. This is the first step for us. Our strategy, as we go forward, is to double our leather business in the next three years," said Sunil Deoras, managing director, Tata International. Currently, the leather business accounts for Rs 550 crore, thanks mainly to exports. "There is a strong synergy between Lloyd and the Tata brand. In India, there is a growing breed of discerning consumers who have a distinctive lifestyle and to whom understated elegance and quality appeal." Priced in the range of Rs 9,000 to Rs 24,000 for men's shoes and Rs 8,000 onwards for women's shoes, the brand will be available at the newly opened exclusive Lloyd's store in south Mumbai. The company is planning to open another store in Delhi by the end of this year.
Environmental Requirements And India’s Exports Of Leather And Leather Product
• . Environmental Requirements for Imports of Leather and Leather Products in EU and USA
Concerns about consumer safety, ecology, “unfair trade” and ethical preferences have motivated the EU and the USA to prescribe regulations, standards, eco-labeling, compliance with domestic waste discharge standards, packaging requirements, ethical treatment of animals and so on. Germany leads the EU in this regard. These requirements affect the entry and cost of access to products of developing countries’ exports in the EU and the USA. Limits have been prescribed for various toxic chemicals and metals in leather products in the EU and the USA. The restricted substances are Pentachlorophenol (PCP), Azo dyes, Formaldehyde, Chrome IV, Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs), Tetrachlorophenols (TCP), Nickel, Cadmium, Phthalates, Specific frame retardants, Disperse dyes, Extractable chromium, Biocides, Tri Butyl Tin, and N-methylpyrolidine (NMP) (solvent). In most cases the requirements in the USA are less stringent. Among countries in the EU, the German requirements are most stringent. Germany prohibits, PCP, nickel and biocides in certain uses and bans specific frame retardants and TCP. These product specifications for leather are constantly under revision, generally towards greater stringency. Specific test protocols have been prescribed for testing consumer products for the presence of various restricted or banned items. The responsibility of ensuring compliance with the domestic regulations for products rests on the retailer. The EU Directive on packaging and packing waste sets certain requirements for the composition, recycling and recovery of packaging, which the importers have to comply with. This legislation is designed to prevent the production of packaging waste and to encourage reuse and recycling, so that the amount of waste, which is finally disposed is significantly reduced. In some cases, consumers demand compliance with their environmental requirements. A law in force in Denmark since 1995 requires official agencies to take ecological properties into consideration in their purchasing policies. Automotive companies in Europe have made extensive demands with respect to the properties and production of the leather they purchase. The demands are in the forms of non-chrome leather, limits on hazardous substances, and ISO certification. Some green activists, consumer organizations and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign against cruelty to animals. They publish instances of cruelty to bovine animals, goats and sheeps at the time of transportation to slaughter houses and at the slaughtering stage. Boycott of purchases of leather products from countries allegedly indulging in cruelty to animals is becoming more frequent in recent years.
Eco-labeling is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification based on life cycle considerations. In the EC, there is a regulation EC No.1980/2000 of the European Parliam govern the award of European Community eco-label. International Standards Organization (ISO) has developed four standards for environmental labels and declarations. ISO 14020 comprises general principles for environmental declarations, formulated as a series of statements with matching specific considerations. ISO 14024 defines and sets norms formulated by an independent third party. Compliance has to be verified by an independent third party. ISO 14021 is based on self-declaration of environment compliance put forward by the suppliers of the product without third-party verification. In ISO 14025, the Declaration is verified by an independent third party for a product within categories of parameters determined in advance and based on life-cycle assessments according to the ISO 14040 series of standards. This type of standard is too complicated for small and medium industries. • Global Leather Industry Supply Chain
There are three stages in leather industry supply chain. They are production of hides and skins, conversion of hides and skins into finished leather and manufacture of footwear and other leather products. Hides and Skins Supply The main sources of hides and skins are bovine animals, goats and sheeps. These animals are reared mainly for production of milk, meat and draught power. We use the FAO (2003) data for raw hides and skins, leather and leather footwear for understanding temporal changes between the annual average in the quinquennium ending 1986 and the annual average in the quinquennium ending 2001. During the 15 year period the world stock of bovine animal increased at a CAGR of 0.5 percent; the CAGRs for developed and developing countries were – 1.6 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. In the quiquennium ending 2001, India had the largest stock with a global share of 21.0 percent, followed by Brazil 11.7 percent, China 8.5 percent and USA 6.4 percent. During 1999-01, developing countries had 78 percent of the bovine animals but their share in the production of hides and skins (wet salted) was less than 54 percent. This is due to two factors – the poor off-take ratio and the low average weight per hide. The shares of China, Brazil, and India in the world production were 11.1percent, 10.7 percent and 7.0 percent respectively. As for the availability (production + net imports), developed countries had one third share. China’s share in the world availability was 18.6 percent, while the figures for Brazil
and India were 10.4 percent and 7.0 percent respectively. The developed countries were net exporters while the developing countries were net importers. In the developed world the main net importers were Italy and Spain.
As for the sheep stock, the number for the world decreased during the period. Developed countries had an average CAGR of –2.3 percent while the developing countries had a CAGR of 0.9 percent. During 1999-01, the shares of developing countries in the world output and availability of sheep and lambskins were 50.2 percent and 63.7 percent respectively. China’s share in the total availability was 23.3 percent followed by Italy 8.0 percent and India 5.5 percent. Developing countries accounted for 95.5 percent of the number of goats in the world in 1999-01. In goatskin production India comes first with a world share of 29.0 percent followed by China 25.3 percent. Leather Production Leather tanning – conversion of hides and skins into finished leather – is the most polluting stage. There are significant changes in the global production patterns. As far heavy leather from bovine animals, the share of developing countries in the world output increased from 40.6 in percent during 1984-86 to 63.2 percent during 1999-01. Among developed countries only USA and Italy increased their shares. Among developing countries, Brazil and Mexico in Latin America and China in Far East improved their shares. During the 15 year period, the world output of light leather increased at a CAGR of 1.4 percent. The developing countries’ share increased from 40.1 percent to 59.4 percent. China became the largest producer in 1999-01 with a share of nearly 30 percent. China was also a large net importer and it had 43.2 percent of the world availability. Among the developed countries, countries with significant shares in the world production of light leather were Italy (11.1 percent), USA(7.2 percent) and area of former USSR (12.8 percent). Leather Manufacturing Between 1984-86 and 1999-01 the production of leather shoes increased at CAGRs of 5.4 percent in developing countries and –5.1 percent in developing countries, the CAGR for the world being 0.8 percent. The share of developing countries in the production had increased from 38.8 percent in 1984-86 to 75.3 percent in 1999-01. Among developed countries only Portugal could increase its share. In the developing world, China’s share jumped from 10.0 percent to 42.4 percent. Mexico, and Indonesia also improved their shares. Of the total exports in1999-01, the shares of developed and developing countries were 68.2 percent (China along 51.3 percent) and
31.8 percent respectively. The average export values per pair of shoes in 1999-01 were US$ 20.88 for developed countries and US$ 8.17 for developing countries.
Leather Exports In order to get the overall patterns of exports and imports, we use the HS system of data for the 4 sub-groups HS 41 – Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather HS 42 – Articles of leather, animal gut, harness and travel goods HS 43 – Furskins and artificial fur, manufactures thereof HS 64 – Footwear and artificial fur, parts thereof. HS 41 lumps together hides and skins and different kinds of leather. Using the UNSD data we could separate hides and skins from kinds of leather. The data is for 2002.leather, but not different China was the largest exporter with a global share of 35.7 percent followed by Italy 11.8 percent and USA 3.33 percent. USA derived 45.2 percent of the export earnings from hides and skins and 23.6 percent from leather. In general, the shares of hides and skins exports in the total exports were smaller for developing countries (the major exception being Mexico) than for developed countries. Argentina and Brazil earned more than half of the export earning from leather. Even developed countries such as USA, Germany, UK and Italy earn more than one-fifth of the total earning from leather exports. Even though manufacture of leather goods (HS 42) and footwear (HS 64) is labour intensive many developed countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK derive large export earning from these two subgroups because of their access to cleaner technologies and production of high value-added products. Looking at the composition of the imports in 2002, two facts are obvious. Developed countries are net importers of leather and leather products, the notable exceptions being Italy and Spain. Many countries with poor raw material base make significant contributions to the exports by relying on imports. These include developing countries such as Mexico, China and Korea and developed countries such as Italy and Spain. While it is generally true that there has been a shift in production of leather and leather products from developed to developing countries because of high environmental compliance costs and high labour costs in developed countries, there are a few exceptions. Italy and Spain, and USA continue to be important producers of finished leather. France, Italy, Spain and Belgium have significant market shares in the world exports of leather goods. Hence, differences in raw material supplies, access to environmentfriendly technologies, and capability to anticipate and adjust to changing consumer demands, do influence the production and trade patterns.
Trade Liberalization and Environmental Protection: Case Studies of Country Responses
In terms of net export values of leather and leather products in 2002, China comes first with US$ 13.237 billion, Italy second with US$ 7.192 billion, Brazil third with US$ 2.378 billion and India fourth with US$ 1.707 billion. In 2002 Brazil had the second largest stock of bovine animals. Brazil’s major export earnings were from wet-blue leather and leather footwear. Due to lower environmental cost in tanning, compared with developed countries, and the import tariff structure (duty on hides export but no duty on wet-blue leather in Brazil and tariff escalation in importing countries) Brazil has been specializing in low-value added and highly polluting stage of leather production. Its average export prices, compared with the developed country exports, were lower both in leather and leather footwear. Brazil has been undergoing a number of structural changes to cope up with the two challenges [Odegard (1998)]. These changes are (i) regressive restructuring of the tanning industry, (ii) concentration in tanning due to mergers and FDI, and (iii) relocation of tanneris to reduce production costs due to regional variations in government incentives, labour costs, degree of unionization and enforcement of environmental laws. The environmental compliance record has been poor. The tanners are reluctant to invest in pollution technologies because they see no demand for ecological leather either at home or abroad and they could not compete with cheap imports of leather products from China. China has developed a good early-warning system for making proactive responses to changes in global environmental requirements. It has developed Genuine Leather Eco-Mark Leather. As for the domestic compliance, it is only partial. There are no good methods for disposal of tannery sludge. Chinese top leather exporters complain that the EU prohibition of use of azo dyes benefits only large foreign companies. Majority of the respondents in a survey, reported in UNCTAD (2003), replied that foreign countries were using TBT as a tool to limit China’s exports. • The Indian Leather Industry Supply Chain
Raw Material Base India’s shares in the global stocks in 2001 were 20.6 percent for bovine animals, 5.6 percent for sheep and 16.8 percent for goats. During 1985-2001 the CAGRs were 0.90 percent for bovine animals, 1.6 percent for sheep and 1.2 percent for goats. The growth rates were higher than the world averages for bovine animals and sheep but below the world average for goats. India’s share in the world production of bovine hides and skins, in terms of wet salted weight, in 2001 was only 7.1 percent. This low share is attributed to the poor off-take rate which is due to ban on cow slaughter, poor collection rate, and lower average weight per hide. The
price realization per hide is also lower because of ante mortem and post mortem defects, the poor animal health care, neglect when the animals became old, and cruel treatment. The Working Group on Leather and Leather Products for the Tenth Plan estimates the augmentation of the raw material base by 50-70 percent and value addition by quality improvement another 15 percent. India has been importing hides and skins in recent years, but the import accounts for less than 3 percent of the domestic production. Production of leather During 1985-2000, India’s share in the world output of bovine heavy leather declined from 10.8 percent to 10.4 percent, and of bovine light leather from 6.1 percent to 5.3 percent. Her share in the world output of goat and sheep leather increased from 14.3 percent to 15.9 percent. According to the CLRI, there were 2091 tanneries in India in 1998. The number of operational tanneries in India in 2000 was estimated 1598. The estimated annual capacities in 2000 were 73.7 million pieces for hides and 182.8 million pieces for skins. About 80 percent of the estimated capacities for hides and skins are in the cottage and small scale sector. The average capacity utilization rate was estimated at 65 percent. The utilization rate would be lower in small scale sector because of closures and higher environmental compliance costs for tanneries not connected to the CETPs. Changes in industrial policies such as dereservation, abolition of export requirements for large tanneries, and permission for FDI and JVs in tanneries provide an atmosphere for tannery modernization and FDI flows. So far only one major JV has fructified. Even though the creation of Kolkata Leather Complex was conceived in 1996 for relocation of closed tanneries, it has not commenced its operation at the end of 2004. Compared with China and Brazil our progress in restructuring and modernization of tanneries has been slow. Leather Products In leather manufacturing also, our past policies like licensing and reservations resulted in the growth of small scale and cottage units. Only in non-leather footwear like Hawai rubber/plastic, PVC synthetic molded footwear, production is in medium and large sector. In all other leather products the share of small scale sector is now 80 percent or more. While the objectives of employment generation and decentralized development have been met atleast partially, most of the units need technological upgradation to cut down unit production costs/improve product quality to enable them to compete effectively in the global markets. Past efforts such as Leather Technology Mission launched in 1995 yielded some benefits. The CLRI is proposing Leather Vision Beyond Mission to double unit value realization through modernization and technological upgradation and minimization of environmental risks.
Investment Needs and Policy Changes The Working Group on Leather and Leather Products for the Tenth Plan estimates the investment needs of the sector at Rs.7,441 crore. The Plan provision is only Rs.400 crore. The Working Group has recommended animal welfare measures; modernization of raw material supply arrangements; rationalization of labour laws; infrastructure development in tannery clusters; R&D, technology and skill upgradation; establishment of leather complexes, and support to environment protection. So far 32 new foreign participations, mostly in footwear, have materialized. • India’s Exports of Leather and Leather Products
Trade Policy India’s trade policy over time has influenced the growth as well as the composition of exports of leather and leather products. The initiatives taken from the seventies to ban export of raw hides and skins and introduction of comprehensive scheme of incentives for exports of finished leather and leather products boosted the CAGR of the exports from 5.5 percent during 1951-52 – 1971-72 to 15 percent during 1971-72 – 1981-82 and to 19 percent during 1981-82 – 1991-92. The share of semi-finished leather in the total exports fell from 83 percent in 1972-73 to zero in 1991-92. In the nineties, enforcement of environmental legislations at home, creation of the WTO, global environmental requirements for the exports, and keen competition from China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea, affected the growth of the exports. If we consider the postWTO period and compare the triennium ending with 1997-98 with the triennium ending 2003-04, the CAGR for export of leather and leather products was only 2.63 percent. India’s leather exports as percent of India’s total exports fell from 9.34 percent in 1972-73 to 3.30 percent in 2003-04. Trade liberalization started in India since 1991-92 and serious efforts have been made to reduce non-tariff barriers and tariff rates. The import-based weighted average tariff for consumer goods fell from 97.8 percent in 1991-92 to 49.6 percent in 2004-05; the corresponding simple averages being 141.0 percent and 25.5 percent [Mathur and Sachdeva (2005)]. India has replaced import bans and quotas by bound tariffs. The trade policy experimented with a number of export promotion measures and
incentive schemes such as duty exemption schemes and duty remission schemes. The Foreign Trade Policy 2004-09 is built under two major objectives, namely, to double India’s percentage share of global merchandise trade within the next five years and to act as an effective instrument of economic growth by giving thrust to employment generation. It is based on the principle that the duties and levies should not be exported. It contains many promotional measures and aims at simplifying procedures and bringing down the transaction costs. There are six special focus initiatives for the leather sector. Tariffs in the Importing Countries The average import tariffs for leather and leather products in the EU, the USA and other developed countries are much higher than the average rates for all industrial commodities. There is also tariff escalation in this sector. In the EU the average tariff for the raw material is 0.1, but it is 2.4 percent for semi-manufactured items and 7.0 percent for finished products. In the USA, the tariff for the raw material is zero, for semi- manufactured items it is 2.3 percent and for finished products it is 11.7 percent. The bound rates for finished goods such as footwear are 17 percent in the EU and the USA. Tariff escalation implies that the effective rates of protection for finished products are higher than the nominal rates of protection. These high rates along with Preferential Trade/Free Trade Agreements by the developed countries reduce the marke access for the Indian exports. India has lost the tariff reduction under the Generalized System of Tariff Preferences in the EU for leather items except forleather footwear. Composition of Exports The export value of finished leather fell from US$ 438.85 million in 1990-91 to US$ 239.82 million in 1999-00 and has been growing in the last 4 years. The export of leather footwear has been increasing steadily, but the India’s share in the world footwear exports is only 2.0 percent. The export value of footwear components reached a peak value of US$ 318.33 million in 1990-91 and fell to US$ 149.82 million in 2003-04. India’s export value of leather goods grew steadily till 1993-94; after decreases during 1994-95 – 1999-00, the value is increasing. The export value of leather garments showed steady growth, but has fluctuated after 1997-98. Saddlery and harness and non-leather footwear are relatively minor items with their shares in baskets in the 2003-04 leather exports at 2.5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. Direction of the Trade Germany has been the largest importer of leather and leather products from India but her share has fallen from 25.1 percent in 1990-91 to 14.9 in 2003-04. The share of France has been falling, the shares of Italy and UK do not show any trend, while those of Portugal,
Spain, Netherlands and Hong Kong are improving. The share of USA has also fallen since 1996-97. India’s Share in the Global Trade and Market Shares in Importing Countries India’s share in the global exports was between 2.24 percent and 2.56 percent during 19982002. The share of leather footwear in the global export basket in 2002 was 37.5 percent but its share in the Indian export basket was 22.6 percent. India’s shares in the Indian export basket are far above the global shares for leather, footwear components, leather goods, saddlery and harness. India’s market shares in the imports of leather and leather products of major importing countries are considered from 1988-2003. India’s market shares in Germany, USA, Italy, France, Netherlands and UK are falling in recent years, but in Hong Kong it is increasing. In terms of market shares in 2002, product-wise, India’s relative position is as follows: eighth in leather, thirteenth in leather footwear, fifth in footwear components, third in leather garments, fourth in leather goods, third in saddlery & harness and twenty eighth in non-leather footwear. Italy comes first in leather, leather footwear and footwear components, and China occupies the first position in all other products. The factors affecting India’s ranking were also indicated. • Perceptions of the Indian Leather Exporters
A survey of the 100 top exporters of leather and leather products in India in 2002 was conducted with the cooperation of CLE in 200304 to find out the exporters’ awareness of the environmental requirements abroad and their impact on their exports, their views on the roles of government, the industry associations and the technical institution in creating an enabling environment to boost the exports, and the transaction costs of the exports. 74 exporters responded from southern, central, northern and eastern regions. There was no response form the two exporters in the western region. • Export Prospects: What Needs to be Done
The Target In order to double the share of India’s export of leather and leather products in the global leather trade by 2008-09, India’s export must grow at a CAGR of 19.46 percent. If the domestic demand increases at a CAGR of 6.0 percent, then the value of the production in 2008-09 must be 93.55 percent above the 2003-04 level to meet both the domestic demand and the foreign demand. Even though the CAGR in the export value, in US dollars, from 1996-97 to 2002-03, was 2.12 percent, the high growth rate in the export values of 11.7 percent during 2003-04 and of 16.2 percent between April-September 2004 and April-September 2003 have raised the prospect of realizing the target.
Domestic Policy Options There is a potential for augmenting the quantity of raw hides and skins by 40 percent and increasing its value by quality improvement by another 20 percent. As hides and skins are by-products of bovine animals, sheeps and goats the price signals are weak and hence we need institutional measures to realize the potential. We need a mission type programme focusing on awareness building, stressing the social and economics costs of inaction and decentralized institutional solutions based on local conditions and local initiatives. India can import hides and skins to augment the domestic supply. In the tannery sector we need policy initiatives to tackle the problems of uneconomic units, technological obsolescence and environmental compliance. The existing small isolated units must be closed with specially designed safety nets to take care of the displaced workers. New tanneries should be allowed only if their designed capacity is above a specified level and they have the facilities for pollution prevention and control. Preferably all the new units should be located in leather complexes to make use of the common facilities. As for the CETPs, the government should consider low interest loan rather than capital subsidy. Government subsidies for installation of metres at tannery outlets for measurement of volume and concentration of pollutants in the effluents, development of environmental management system in the CETPs, introduction of technologies for recovering/reuse of water and materials, disposal of solid wastes, and combined treatment of municipal and tannery waste water are desirable because of the external benefits and the need for assisting the small units to enhance their competitiveness. In the CETP management, top priority should be given to design and implementation of incentive based cost sharing arrangements. Such a scheme will encourage primary treatment and adoption of waste minimization methods at the member units. Hence expansion of tanning capacity is possible without burden on the existing CETPs. Amendments to the existing environmental legislations are needed to introduce economic instruments for pollution control. These will facilitate levy of charges/fines proportional to the violations. In case of members connected to CETPs, the monitoring by PCBs can be at the CETP level and not at the tannery level. India can learn and adapt from the experiences of developing countries. See World Bank (2001) and MoEF, World Bank and CII (2003). There is unexploited opportunities for value addition in leather footwear and
other leather products. India has the technical expertise and a number of specialized institutions for design and development of new products. Changes in industrial policies have encouraged technology transfer and joint ventures mainly in leather footwear. The opportunities do exist in other leather products too.
High Tariffs and Tariff Escalations The Doha Declaration on reduction on peak tariffs and tariff escalations in industrialized countries on products of export interest to developing countries received a set back at the Cancun Conference, but the WTO Framework Agreement of August 2004 revived hopes that the these negotiations are back on track India. As leather and leather products are of export interest to India and as the industry contributes to rural development and livelihood security, India must bargain for substantial tariff reductions. India must also explore the feasibility of signing new bilateral/free trade/preferential trade agreements to retain/access to the export markets. This is a second- best solution.
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