Dr Saleh Uddin, Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank :
Tanners are not interested n buying rawhides of sacrificed animals despite their retail prices being lowest in 30 years, something which is not right. It is also not right that there is no demand of rawhide in the market. Usually, 60% of the county’s rawhide comes during Eid-ul-Azha. Busyness peaks in the tanneries in Old Dhaka over the period. Trucks laden with rawhides from parts of the country then throng there. The central effluent treatment plant (CETP) is yet to be set up. The government is also to blame for the issue prevailing in the leather sector as the inexperienced Bangladesh Institute of Small Industry and Cottage (BISIC) has assigned to take care of it. How can the BISIC run the second highest export earning sector?
If the tanners cannot process the rawhides due to power or water-related problem, wouldn’t they buy leather? What will they do with the loan sanctioned for the sector? They are not buying the rawhides against the loan meant for the purpose. If the traders do not spend the loan as supposed, the banks concerned have to recover the money.
Export of the country’s leather-goods is declining—an issue possibly caused by shortfall of production or delivery schedule failure. Why will the tanners buy rawhide if the exports fall? They will not sit idle stockpiling leather. So, the issues related to export shortfall need to be addressed and the electricity and water problems have to be addressed. Negotiations need to be made with importers, only to help resolve the crisis.
Based on an interview by Muhammad Nayeem, translated by Sayeed Muhammad
Nayeemul Islam khan
1327 Tejgaon Industrial Area (3rd Floor), Dhaka-1208