Ominous signals for leather industry
THE rawhide market for sacrificial animal this year during the Eid-ul-Azha has almost collapsed like last year's literally wiping out seasonal traders and madrasha volunteers who have so far collected rawhide from door to door. Previously they would deposit the sale proceeds as charitable contribution to madrashas and such other publicly funded organizations. But the few people who ventured this time to collecting rawhide saw industrial buyers. Rawhide merchants deployed their paid agents for the purpose. Â
There is a growing fear that bulk of the rawhide this year may be smuggled across the borders asÂ the government has failed to ensure proper handling of the chaotic market from the kind of dumping like last year.Â As it appears the Commerce Ministry in the first place fixed highly reduced prices of rawhide for cattle, goats and such other animals effectively handing over the benefit to big tanners and merchants. Small traders were eliminated in the process. Â
Â We all know that this is a totally failed incapable government and corrupt from top to bottom at all levels.Â But sadly it is handing over the industry to smugglers for its inability to discipline the unruly market situation.Â Moreover the government announcement to allow rawhide export seems highly damaging to local tanners which will also severely limit leather goods export.Â Â Â Â
It is sad that people at many places have abandoned their rawhide in absence of industrial buyersÂ and video footage showed people at some places had even disposed rawhide to river as none showed up to buy it.Â Only agents of big merchants were visible this time in buying rawhide at very low price and they almost successfully ended a social system of supporting charitable organizations from donations of rawhide value which was in force over the generations.
It is highly unusual that a cattle hide sold between Tk 100 and Tk 150 at districts level while it sold at around Tk 400 in the city up from Tk 1000 few years back. This is a scandalous development and what is more scandalous is that big tanners who were able to secure Tk 600 crore bank loan for buying rawhideÂ were not visible at peak time in the field. Their announcement that they would start buying from next Saturday sounds tricky as well.