BNP today demanded withdrawal of the government decision to lift the ban on rawhide export for the sake of the country's leather industry.
"The government has announced to allow the rawhide export after people dumped and buried those out of anger due to throwaway prices. People want to know in whose interest such a decision has been taken," said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, he also said the interests of the poor, orphans and destitute have been harmed due to the tricks played by a syndicate and plunderers over buying the rawhides of sacrificial animals.
He said the tannery sector will be destroyed if the rawhides are allowed to be exported. "The existence of the country's leather industry will be at stake and the investment of hundreds of crores of taka in it will face risk if the rawhides are exported."
The BNP leader also warned that the local leather industry will be forced to import rawhides at very high prices in the days to come if those of the sacrificial animals are now exported.
He said huge rice was exported when farmers set fire to their paddy fields being deprived of the fair prices of their crops.
Stating that many orphanages and madrasas are run by selling the rawhides of sacrificial animals they get from people during the Eid, he said adding that these organisations will face a serious trouble this time due to the cheaper prices of the rawhides.
He questioned the motive behind suddenly allowing the rawhide export when people were deprived of fair prices of those.
"The way rice was exported to another country after setting fire to paddy fields, the same way the rawhides bought at throwaway prices will have to export to a neighbouring country destroying the leather industry. The poor, orphans and destitute suffered losses while the plunderers and the syndicate and their cohorts got benefited."
The BNP leader also feared that many people directly or indirectly involved with the leather industry will be affected and lose jobs if the rawhides are exported. "So, we protest the government's decision of lifting the ban on rawhide export and strongly demand the government revoke it immediately."
On Tuesday night, the government decided to permit the export of rawhides to ensure their fair prices.
"The business community's cooperation is sought in buying and selling of rawhides at the prices fixed by the Commerce Ministry. It's being noticed that the hide of the sacrificial animals are not being sold at the prices fixed by the ministry," said a handout.