Opposition MPs concerned about decline in leather production owing to closure of slaughterhouses
Opposition MPs showed concern over the decline in leather procurement, owing to closure of slaughterhouses.india Updated: Jul 24, 2017 23:33 IST
The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill that seeks to establish the Footwear Design and Development Institute as an institution of national importance, but not before Opposition MPs showed concern over the decline in leather procurement, owing to closure of slaughterhouses.
Even as they supported the bill, introduced by commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MPs cutting across party lines brought up the issue of how the crackdown on slaughterhouses and incidents of violence by alleged cow vigilantes are affecting the leather business.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said that in the absence of leather, the institute will only produce trained people with no jobs.He said the difficulties in moving cattle around and the closure of slaughterhouses has led to a decline in leather procurement. “Your policies are self-contradictory; in Agra, people complain factories are on the verge of shutting down,” he said.
BSP’s Veer Singh, who suggested the government should also ensure installation of treatment plants to check pollution from leather tanneries, also drew attention to the Una incident where Dalit youths were thrashed for allegedly skinning dead cattle. Congress’ PL Punia and BJD’s Dilip Kumar Tirkey pointed to cow vigilantism and its impact on the leather industry.
Responding to Yadav’s comment that the government needs to make amends, Sitharaman refuted claims that leather production was falling. She said that the government had only clamped down on illegally procured leather and there was no attempt to close down the leather industry.