Barua urges tanners to fast-track relocation
Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday urged tannery owners to start relocating hazardous tanneries from the capital's Hazaribagh to Savar immediately.
“The exports of our leather and leather goods may be hampered next year if we can't begin the relocation as the European Union has already shown reservations about the issue,” he said.
Tannery relocation is essential to save the Buriganga River, Barua said.
The minister spoke at the launch of a three-day fair, Leathertech Bangladesh 2013, organised by ASK Trade and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), a wing of the industries ministry, has already allotted more than 205 plots on 200 acres to 155 tannery owners.
BSCIC has also made roads, drain and sewerage lines, fire station and administrative buildings. “We have also started the construction of the central effluent treatment plant in Savar,” he added. Barua urged the tannery owners to sign a deal with BSCIC immediately to inject a momentum into relocation.
The government plans to bear 80 percent of the core project cost of Tk 829 crore, as per the second revised proposal passed by the executive committee of the National Economic Council in August, he said.
Tannery owners will also get Tk 250 crore in compensation to be paid by the government.
“We will start the relocation soon as all tannery owners have agreed on it,” said Mohammad Abu Taher, chairman-elect of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters' Association.
Around 100 exhibitors from 10 countries including India, China, Honk Kong and Korea are participating in the fair to showcase machinery, components, chemicals and accessories relating to leather and footwear industry. The fair is open to all between 11:00am and 7:00pm.
Pradeep Aggarwal, president of India Footwear Components Manufacturers Association and Nasir Khan, vice president of Leathergoods & Footwear Manufacturers & Expoters Association also spoke.