NewZNew (Jalandhar) : Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Punjab Leather Federation(Council of Leather Exports, Punjab) have announced their intent to explore areas of cooperation through which leather and leather product companies in the Jalandhar district of Punjab can be supported in accessing international markets. At a recent seminar, which was attended by representatives of Jalandhar’s cluster of indigenous leather and leather product exporters, senior officials from both organizations highlighted the growth potential for the sector and outlined existing programs and facilities that would help address some pertinent issues.
Jalandhar is one of India’s major production centres for leather and leather products. The Punjab Leather Federation estimates that leather and leather products worth Rs. 800 crore are exported from the cluster. Exports constitute primarily leather and fabricated products such as footwear and bags.
Leather exporters in Jalandhar, however, are faced with several hard challenges including power shortage and high cost of power, competition from companies situated closer to the international airport in Delhi, unorganized cattle breeding in Punjab and the need for increasing the number and capacity of effluents treatment plants (ETPs) in the region.
Lt. Col. J. S. Paul, President of the Punjab Leather Federation highlighted the key issues and the role that the Federation plays in supporting the leather industry in the region.
Speaking at the seminar, Mrs. Kusum Singh, Regional Head, Exim Bank said, “The SME sector plays an important role in sustaining growth. SMEs need to improve and upgrade their operations to penetrate global markets.”
India is currently the world’s third largest exporter of leather and leather products, with a CAGR of 14.77% over the last five years. The Government has identified the leather sector as a focus sector in its Foreign Trade Policy.
Exim Bank provides a number of financial services to Indian companies to help them grow their business and access global markets. The participants at the seminar were informed of such services and others, including Exim Bank’s Term loans for setting up of facilities and common facility centers; support for setting up overseas joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries; the Lines of Credit programme; Market Advisory services and the Grass roots Initiative Development Programme.