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Leather exports to grow 20 pc in 2014-15: Council

The apex nodal agency of leather exports, Council for Leather Exports (CLE), has said that country's leather exports are likely to grow 20 percent at USD 6 billion by the end of the current fiscal, and may even touch USD 14-billion mark by the end of 2017, reports media.

Leather exports are expected to rise by 20 percent to USD 6 billion by end of the current fiscal, and the industry has a target to achieve USD 14 billion by 2016-17, Rajendra K Jalan, chairman, CLE, told a leading news agency in Chennai.

After reaching an all-time high exports of USD 5 billion in 2012-13, exports in the first nine months of the current fiscal witnessed a 20 percent growth, he said, adding as per current trends, the industry will be able to achieve USD 6-billion shipments by the end of FY 2013-14.

Earlier at the inauguration of the 29th edition of India International Leather Fair here, Jalan said, "We will undertake all efforts to reach this target, it is very important that we maintain the consistent growth level of 20 percent and above in the coming years, despite the major challenges faced by the industry."

Setting up of infrastructure facilities to ramp up production and focus on the domestic market are some of the issues faced by the leather industry, he said.

The availability of leather will be a major factor which will decide the growth of this sector, he added.

"On the domestic front, India produces about 2 billion sqft of leather, but this is not enough," Jalan said.

"It is estimated that in order to achieve the export target of USD 14 billion by 2016-17, the industry requires an additional 4 billion square foot of leather. The question is how are we going to meet this huge requirement?" he added.