India’s meat & leather industry argue about duties: the former (raw material) rejects them, the latter (shoes and bags) needs them

India’s meat-leather industry is split while desperately aiming to different scenarios: on the one hand, the former craves for removal of export restrictions; on the other hand, conversely, the latter, at the end of the cluster, begs for preservation of protectionism policies to safeguard its own commercial interests. The first point was taken, last December, by the livestock and farm industry representatives. As reported by local press, ahead of the quarterly closure of districts of Kanpur and Unnao, slaughterhouses and traders submitted a petition to suspend customs duty on exports of sheep and bovine (buffalo) raw hides. Such petition, presented before authorities, was rather urgent, since tanning raw hides and skins need to be placed on the market quite quickly. They did not get any response from the government, but, as reported by India’s media, manufacturers of semi-finished leather (subject to a 60% duty) promptly asked to equalize their product to finished leather (whose export is not subject to any additional taxation). Yet, in contrast, India’s manufacturers of shoes, accessories and leather apparel took immediate action to restrain such requests for deregulation. They urged Indian government not to yield to requests coming from the meat industry stakeholders: otherwise, the production stability of the whole business would collapse, therefore jeopardizing revenues and occupational levels.


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