The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the Government to remove various duties on leather imports and quarantine requirements on the import of raw hides and skins.

FPCCI president, Ghazanfar Bilour, made the demand while talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), led by chairman Amanullah Aftab, earlier this month.

The group says the additional regulatory duty on imports of various basic tanning chemicals and quarantine requirements imposed by the government were hampering the productivity of Pakistan's leather sector – which is ultimately affecting leather exports.

Leather is the second largest export earning sector, representing a "highly dynamic and value added" industry for leather and leather products, as well as job, Bilour said.

He the sector should be provided with lab testing facilities at subsidised rates, a matching grant for setting up effluent treatment plants, a unilateral reduction in the rates of duty drawback on the export of finished leather goods, and an acceleration in the process of releasing duty drawback, sales tax, income tax and drawback of local taxes and levies (DLTL) claims.

The president added that instead of providing facilities to the tanning industries, the authorities are imposing duties and conditions that are creating problems for these industries.

Chairman of the United Business Group for FPCCI and its former president, SM Muneer, added the government should focus on measures to enhance the country's leather exports. He said that despite the global recession, and other domestic and international bottlenecks, the tanning industry is active in the export of leather and allied goods.