Millennium Post

Centre preparing strategy to promote footwear industry

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Ministry is working with the footwear and allied sector industries to formulate a comprehensive strategy to promote exports and manufacturing in this labour intensive segment, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday.

He said the sector holds huge potential to create jobs and boost the country's overall exports.

"We are working with the industry to prepare a strategic vision for the footwear and allied sector industries. Suggestions made by the industry would get all the support from my ministry," he said here.

The strategy could include recommendations on issues such as availability of raw material, skilled manpower, financing and environmental issues, and ways to link the sector to global value chains.

The commerce and industry minister was speaking at the inauguration of Indian International Footwear fair.

Prabhu asked the industry players to make India a global manufacturing hub for the footwear sector.

"Set up clusters in 4-5 states. We will engage with states to provide land and other support," he said adding demand for footwear is going to multiply with the increasing population and income levels.

The market size of the industry is about Rs 50,000 crore, which is expected to touch Rs 1 lakh crore in the next five years, according to industry estimates.

Exports of footwear (both leather and synthetic) stood at around $2.5 billion per year. The sector employs about 10 lakh people.

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