LAHORE: Reluctance by the banks to release import documents of various inputs of the tanning industry waiting at Karachi Port has created the apprehensions of closure of operations by the tanning sector which is worth billion dollar export industry.
The banks are refusing to retire documents due to the non-availability of dollars. The shipments on Cash against Documents or L/C’s are on hold in the commercial banks waiting for approval from SBP, claimed Agha Saiddain, former Chairman of Pakistan Tanners Association, while talking to the Business Recorder here on Saturday.
Agha Saiddain said their industry was dependent on imported chemicals and now the industrialists were foreseeing that their sector would be forced to close its operations due to the non-availability of chemicals. He further added that the tanning sector being the mother industry of downstream industries like garments, footwear, gloves, and leather goods will affect all these sectors leaving one million people unemployed.
PTA highlights problems being faced by tanners
He further added that it was beyond our thinking how a country can earn foreign exchange if the export industry was closed down. The economic managers should have devised some mechanism and allowed a certain percentage of our export earnings for the import of inputs for our tanning sector.
He said that a NOC was required for the import of basic raw material Sodium Sulphide for the de-hairing of skins. This NOC was required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence which was almost impossible for the industry. ‘We can say that the present government is not interested in exports and the country is gradually being pushed towards irreparable disaster. Factories once closed can never start their operations again,’ Agha Saiddain added.
He requested the Finance Minister to sit with stakeholders and find some workable solutions to these acute problems.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023
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