NEW DELHI: In an interview with The Citizen Ramesh Juneja, President of the Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners Association, said that the ban on slaughter had impacted adversely on the leather and other related indusries.

Juneja said that the ban imposed in Uttar Pradesh to begin with had a direct and immediate impact on the leather industry all over India. “There is a very significant shortage of hide, which is the raw material essentially used by the leather industry. The ban slaughtering has drastically lessened in legal slaughter houses as well, causing a backlash on the leather industry.”

The leather industry is not the only industry being impacted by this ban implemented by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. “The chemical industry, that supplies chemicals to the leather industry, as well as the engineering industry, which provide the machines for making leather and its products have been impacted,” Juneja said.

The cattle industry has a very significant role in increasing the GDP of the nation, with 5-6% of the economy arising from it. Therefore, a restriction placed on the slaughter houses shall adversely affect the GDP of the country in the coming years according to Juneja. The steady export potential that the leather industry enjoyed is slowly but surely being affected.

Juneja said 25 tanneries in Kanpur have shown interest in opening their units in West Bengal due to the shortage of raw material that they are experiencing in Uttar Pradesh. “They are looking for land or taking over existing units,” he told a news agency earlier.

On being asked about his comment regarding the shift of tannery workers from Kanpur to West Bengal, he elaborated “The workers have approached the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and they (the ministry) have agreed to invest one hundred crores in the Tanning Sector in West Bengal to accommodate them.” Juneja also went on to say that the workers have been warmly welcomed by the Chief Minister of the state and that their predicament would be looked into carefully by the state.

About the possible import of hide from the United States of America he said that this would be a body blow for the leather industry, since the price of imported hide would be “25-30 % more than the raw material that was domestically produced”. The sales in the leather market would be expected to drop, thereby pulling them out of the competition with China and Pakistan completely.

The Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has implemented a ban on allegedly illegal slaughter houses, which has caused a backlash on the cattle industry as a whole. Instances of killings in the name of protecting the cow have been widely reported.