New Delhi: Following up on the Budget announcement, the Commerce and Industry Ministry has got down to preparing a draft scheme for the leather and footwear segment -- on the lines of textiles -- to boost manufacturing, exports and job creation.
In the Budget 2017-18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced plans to launch a scheme for the labour-intensive leather and footwear sector. The scheme will be something similar to the package unveiled for the textiles sector in June last year.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion "has started preparing the contours of the scheme and would soon send the same to the Expenditure Finance Committee for their views and approval", an official said.
The final note will then be sent for consideration of the Union Cabinet. The aim is to implement the scheme from April 1. The scheme may include fiscal and non-fiscal support, besides incentives, for promotion of skill development for the leather sector.
Jaitley, in his speech, has said a special scheme for creating employment in the textiles sector has already been launched and a similar scheme will be implemented for leather and footwear. In June 2016, the government approved a Rs 6,000-crore special package for the textiles and apparel sector. It included a set of reforms, with simplified labour laws and technology upgradation.
The leather remains a key focus area under the 'Make in India' initiative of the government. Analysts say Rs 1 crore investment in the sector spins off jobs for close to 250 people, which employs about 30 lakh people in direct jobs.
China is giving a tough competition to Indian leather manufacturers in terms of pricing. The government aims to increase the sectoral exports to USD 15 billion by 2020, from the current USD 7 billion....