From the Desk of Chairman

CHAIRMAN SPEAKS

Dear Members

First of all, let me thank the Government of India for announcing a series of support measures for the leather industry this month in the Mid- Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 and in the form of Special Package for Leather and Footwear Sector.

Mid Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20

On December 5, 2017 Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Commerce and Industry announced the Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 on Dec. 5, 2017. The major announcement made for leather sector is across the board increase of 2% in existing Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive for exports, as per which leather / leather products/ footwear which were getting 2% Scirip under MEIS will now get 4% and those leather / leather products/ footwear which were getting 3% will now get 5% Scrip for exports made from 1.11.2017 to 30.6.2018.

The Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy highlights statement released by the Government also mentions about increase of Validity period of Duty Credit Scrips (including MEIS) from 18 months to 24 months and implementing E-wallet scheme w.e.f. 1st April 2018, which will eliminate upfront payment of GST.

Special Package for Leather and Footwear Sector

The other major support measure announced for leather industry was the Union Cabinet approval for implementing the Rs.2600 crore special package for employment generation in leather and footwear sector on December 16, 2017.

The package encompasses support measures covering all core areas namely modernization and technological up-gradation of production units (IDLS sub-scheme), Skill Development and Employment generation (HRD sub-scheme), Environment Management (Leather Technology, Innovation and Environmental Issues sub-scheme), Brand Promotion, creation of Integrated Production Clusters (Mega Leather, Footwear and Accessories Cluster (MLFAC) sub-scheme), Additional Incentive for employment generation and also flexibility in labour laws.

The substantial increase in Government funding outlay under the Special Package will be a major catalyst to the industry in expanding its market share in the fiercely competitive global market and also in promoting domestic production under Hon’ble Prime Minister’s flagship Make in India programme.

I am sure that the special package will play a significant role in achieving significant growth levels, both on export front and in domestic market in the next 3 years and also in generating employment opportunities to thousands of unemployed youth.

All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback

You are aware that the new All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback came into effect from October 1, 2017. We had two meetings with the High Level Drawback Committee, one on Nov. 22, 2017 in New Delhi and the second meeting on December 7, 2017 in Chennai, wherein we represented for increase in drawback rates and also removal of cap values. I hope that the Drawback Committee will positively consider these requests and recommend accordingly

With best wishes

Mukhtarul Amin
Chairman
COUNCIL FOR LEATHER EXPORTS