The Leather industry holds a prominent place in the Indian economy. This sector is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top foreign exchange earning sectors for the country.

The major markets for Indian leather products are Germany with a share of 14.12%, Italy 12.82%, UK 11.48%, USA 9.98%, Hong Kong 6.61%, Spain 6.09%, France 6.14%, Netherlands 4.13%, UAE 2.38% and Australia 1.55%. These 10 countries together account for nearly 75.30% of India’s total leather products exports.

With an annual turnover of over Rs. 32,100 crore in FY09, the export of leather and leather products increased significantly over the past decade to touch Rs. 16,500 crore in FY09, representing a cumulative annual growth rate of about 9.58%.

Raw materials for the leather industry remain abundant as India accounts for 21% of world cattle & buffalo and 11% of world goat & sheep population. In addition to this, India’s advantage lies in its large and skilled manpower base, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and the dedicated support of the allied industries.

The leather industry is an employment intensive sector, providing job to about 2.5 mn people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society. Women employment is predominant in leather products sector, with a share of about 30%.

Though India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world, India accounts for a share of only around 3% in the global leather import trade of Rs. 5.8 lakh crore (2007 estimate).

The major production centers for leather and leather products in the country are located in Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Trichy, Dindigul ; West Bengal – Kolkata ; Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur, Agra & Noida ; Maharashtra – Mumbai ; Punjab – Jalandhar ; Karnataka – Bangalore ; Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad ; Haryana  - Ambala, Gurgaon, Panchkula and Karnal; Delhi.

The Government of India had identified the Leather Sector as a Focus Sector in its Foreign Trade Policy FY09 in view of its immense potential for export growth prospects and employment generation. Accordingly, the Government is in the process of implementing various Special Focus Initiatives under the Foreign Trade Policy for the growth of leather sector.

With the implementation of various industrial developmental programmes as well as export promotional activities and keeping in view the past performance and industry’s inherent strengths, the Indian leather industry aims to augment domestic production, with the objective of increasing exports to Rs. 32,300 crore bn by FY14 and also to create additional employment opportunities for another one million people.

Relevant Reports

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