Tanneries and leather goods manufacturers located in Kanpur can finally re-open their doors, but at a price. Uttar Pradesh’s government, Indian state where the leather and leather-working district is located, has passed laws that only allow those that will respect environmental practices set by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to restart activities. Good news for all local entrepreneurs, as they were previously forced to shut down production 8 months ago due to the pollution levels of the Ganges river, since they were considered responsible for the degradation.
At the start, the shut-down was supposed to be over on March 15th, to guarantee that the sacred ceremony Kumbh Mela, during which the Hinduists immerge into the Ganges river, could take place safely. On the other hand, the UPPCB still picked up toxic pollutants in the river at the end of the ban. For this reason, only few companies were allowed to resume work under the “No Objection Certificate”, thanks to which they could work near the Ganges once again. According to what reported by business-standards.com, one of the members of the Small Tanners Association’s council, Nayyar Jamal, explained that the new rigorous regulations imposed by the government could reduce production of tanneries in the area by 50% or more.
The concerns of Kanpur’s entrepreneurs add to those present over the last few months on the marketplace already, during which many businesses saw their clients turning to districts operating in different countries as well as close ones. Among the many consequences that hit the industry were raw hides’ prices, that went from 2,000 rubles per meter (about 25 euro) to 700 rubles (9 euro). Many suppliers tried to shift sales to the other Indian tanning district of Calcutta, but prices there had to stay low as well, due to growing supply. Criticism was also expressed by the ex-governor of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, current president of the Samajwadi party. According to The Print, Mr. Yadav stated that “the government’s legislations are giving Pakistan and advantage”.