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Prompt delivery of leather goods stressed

Special Correspondent

Tanners told to modernise the industry to achieve additional capacity

CHENNAI: Zackria Sait, who was elected chairman of the Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers and Exporters Association (IFLMEA), has called for prompt delivery of high quality leather products to enhance the country's export prospects.

After his election at the 22nd annual general body meeting of the association here on Wednesday, he said China's total leather production had touched 500 million square feet, and India could increase the finished leather production to reach the target of $ seven billion by 2010. He urged the tanners to modernise the industry to go in for additional capacity for finished leather manufacturing.

Referring to the accumulation of salt in the reverse osmosis (R.O.) plants, he urged the Government to allot adequate sites for disposal.

Outgoing chairman T. Rafeeq Ahmed said 2004-2005 was significant to the leather industry as the Centre had recognised it as a thrust sector in the Common Minimum Programme. The Government also extended the requisite policy support.

According to him, the reverse osmosis plants offered the best solution to environmental issues. During the last 18 months, 12 plants had been commissioned in the composite North Arcot district. The tanneries were able to utilise 75 per cent of pure recovered water with TDS content below 500 ppm, besides saving five-ten per cent of chemicals in the dye house. The investment made in the plants could be recovered in three years. The remaining 25 per cent of the reject with very high TDS was passed through the evaporation system, leaving only the residual salt, the disposal of which still remained an issue, he said.

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