Speakers at a Task Force meeting in Bangladesh recently proposed to set up a Leather Industry Authority under the industry’s ministry to develop the sector and solve some of its problems. The proposal came at the fourth meeting of the Task Force on Recommendation for Development of Leather Industry and Formulation of Action Plan at the ministry, an official release said. 

Industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, who presided over the meeting, said the leather industry is a big one and Bangladesh should find new markets abroad. He urged leather entrepreneurs to enhance their efforts to expand their businesses. He assured them that they’d have government support. 

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi, environment, forest and climate change minister Mohammad Shahab Uddin, state minister for industries Kamal Ahmed Mojumder and industries secretary Zakia Sultana were also present at the meeting. 

Although the tannery factories have been shifted from Hazaribagh to the unfinished leather industrial city, he said, work of the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and other components are not yet completed. In this situation, environmental clearance has been issued in favour of some tanneries, but now that is being delayed to renew environmental clearance, he said. 

Due to delay in obtaining renewal of environmental clearance, he said, it is becoming difficult to get export registration certificate (ERC) as an exporter, import registration certificate (IRC) as an importer and clearance of duty-free bond facility, according to a news agency.

"We are not in favor of closing the tannery industrial city. We have the raw materials, we have the manpower, we have the experience. Therefore, in the interest of smooth production activities of leather factories in the industrial city, it is necessary to expedite the renewal of environmental clearances, implement CETP, apply modern technology as well as manage solid waste properly," the industry minister added.