Kanpur, tanneries blame the government for the crisis (and not Covid-19)

Kanpur, tanneries blame the government (and not Covid-19)

The handling of religious festivities Magh Mela e Kumbh Mela, along with the rigorous approach of the National Green Tribunal. These are the 3 elements that Indian tanners located in the Uttar Pradesh region are blaming for the crisis. Political factors that anticipated Covid-19 and have broken the local leather chain. These dynamics have forced customers to go to nearby countries, thus putting the enterprises that are located on the Ganges river, to risk having to close down shop.

The crisis

Government intervention is estimated to have caused damage to the sector for 21 billion rupies, or about 240 million euro. That’s the amount, according to the Council for Leather Exports, according to which the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hinduist party in charge in the region and country, is killing the Kanpur district. Operators blame the losses on the shutdowns imposed for religious celebrations. First, it was Kumbh Mela, which stopped work for a few months. Then, Magh Mela, which took place last February. And last but not least, the decisions made in the long-term by the tribunal that oversees environmental regulations.

Stopped for 13 months

Government restrictions to clean the Ganges river forced tanneries, footwear manufacturers and leather goods’ producers to shutdown for about 13 months. Too much to handle for the market. That’s why buyers, most of all European ones, decided to look to neighboring countries. “They chose Bangladesh, as production there was incentivized – explained Javed Iqbal, regional president of the Kanpur council for exports, to newsclick.in -. As a consequence, Kanpur lost 4 big foreign brands. 32 tanners that had planned on expanding their activity in Uttar Pradesh quit their plan to focus on Western Bengal. 4 of them completely relocated to Bangladesh”. A situation that had serious economic repercussions. “How will we survive? – adds Nayyar Jamal, member of the Kanpur’s segment of Small Tanners Association -. After tanneries were forced shut, they could only reopen for 15 days a month, thus working only at 25% capacity”.

In image, a graphic representation by i.mage_lab

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