The government has refused to provide funds for the purpose of running the National Institute of Leather Technology (NILT) at Korangi (Karachi). The decision came during a board meeting of the Export Development Fund (EDF), headed by Federal Minister for Commerce Humayun Akhtar Khan, on March 1 in Islamabad.

A couple of months earlier it was agreed that the government would provide Rs4

million to run NILT, which was built for the training and development of human resource. ‘The Pakistan Tanners Association had sought Rs4 million from the EDF in order to train and develop human resource to bolster the dwindling leather sector owing to high production cost and rising competition with China, Turkey and South Korea’, said central chairman of the PTA, S M Naseem.

‘It was agreed in principle at an EDF board meeting that the government would provide the said amount to the PTA for running the NILT, but it refused in the next meeting’, he added. He said that the leather sector had not been given a single incentive during the last three years by the government despite the fact that the sector’s contribution to the EDF.

The PTA chief said: ‘at this juncture the leather sector is in dire need of funds to run the NILT in order to enhance the skills and productivity of the workforce, which would help control unnecessary losses and make the industry competitive in the world market.’ According to sources privy to the matter, the EDF board viewed that if the government provided funds for the NILT then it could trigger demands from other trade and industrial associations for financing in order to run their respective training institutes.

Source: The News International, Karachi