Indonesia's Minister of Industry and Trade, Luhut Panjaitan, has lead calls for an export tax on raw leather to be reimposed in a bid to prevent the further decline of the country's tanning industry.

In a letter to the Minister of Finance, Prijadi Praptosuhardjo, Panjaitan proposed a 20 - 30 per cent export tax be imposed to ensure that domestic tanneries receive an adequate supply of raw leather.

The original export tax on raw leather was removed in April 2000 under the economic reform agenda implemented by the International Monetary Fund in return for bailout funds.

Industry officials have claimed that the dropping of the export tax, complemented with a reduction in exports from India, Pakistan and Brazil, has lead to a shortage of supply of raw leather in the country and caused almost half of the country's tanneries to close.

Campaigners will be seeking support from the House of Representatives.