The Rs 6,000-crore leather export industry of West Bengal is facing acute problems owing to demonetisation, several industry bodies have claimed.
The prominent among them are the Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners Association and the Council of Leather Exports.
“Production is already lower by 40 per cent due to lack of workers and inability to pay wages,” Council of Leather Exports Chairman Ramesh Juneja said today.
The organisations said that they were set to miss their export commitment to the world market as demonetisation led to rise in raw leather cost by 20 per cent making Indian leather goods uncompetitive in the global market.
Members of the Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners Association claimed that the industry consists of MSMEs who have some 400 factories, most of them facing severe cash crunch to clear wage dues.
“Our inability to pay wages in cash and workers busy in bank queues for exchange or withdrawing money,” CLE secretary Imran A Khan said.
The industry further said that they are dealing with daily wage earners and many of them are migrants from neighbouring states who do not have any proper document to open bank accounts.
The industry has requested the government to extend the benefit similar to tea gardens to tide over the crisis.