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February 7, 2019

India eyes 10% growth in leather and footwear exports

By Hannah Abdulla

India is eyeing leather export growth of 9-10% on an annual basis over the next two years, according to new figures from the Council for Leather Exports (CLE).

The body reported a 1.65% growth in exports of leather, leather products and footwear to US$5.7m in the period 2017-18 compared with the same period a year earlier.

The Council for Leather Exports said the country’s leather and footwear industry was able to penetrate several new export markets including the US, Russia, Japan, Australia and Poland in the four-year period to 2018.

India is the second largest producer of footwear and the second largest exporter of leather garments globally, according to the CLE.

It says the focus for the industry over the next two years will be to implement sustainable production models; boost productivity; put a greater focus on innovation and design; and undertake a wide range of marketing activities to make further inroads into potential markets.

Achieving these goals will include leveraging the government’s Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) concessions. The IFLADP is an initiative with an approved expenditure of INR26bn (US$362m) over the three financial years to 2020. Its focus is on the development of infrastructure for the leather sector, addressing of environmental concerns specific to the leather sector, facilitating additional investments, generating new employment and an increase in production.

Presently the 5% concessional GST has been extended for footwear with a sale price up too INR1000. The CLE recently submitted representations to the government requesting a reduction in GST rates for footwear with a sale price above INR1000 and also for footwear components from 18% to 12% in order to increase the price competitiveness of the industry.

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