KARACHI - Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) members urged if raw hides and skins were not processed at earliest, the same would rot and cause heavy losses of valuable foreign exchange.

Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman Agha Saiddain and India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and former FPCCI president S M Muneer said during the current year PTA had accumulated 35-40 percent of all the sacrificial animals’ hides and skin from Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Kasur and other parts of the country.

They demanded government should exempt the leather industry from daily power and gas load shedding, which is currently facing huge problems in utilising the skins and hides of sacrificial animals accumulated over Eidul Azha.

Saiddain said in the current load shedding situation and due to the hot and dry climate, it was not possible for the tanning industry to handle all these hides and skins or save them for future and to complete foreign orders to make leather garments, bags, footwear and gloves.

Power outage of over six to eight hours per day will ruin all the raw material lying at the tanneries worth millions of dollars and leather exporters will not be able to fulfil their commitment in the international market.

The exporters may have to face penalties or cancellation of orders owing to shipments’ failure. Pakistan’s leather industry is already facing a shortage of raw material due to exports and smuggling of live animals.

He urged the government to ensure supply of gas to the export-oriented leather industry and exempt it from load shedding, so that leather industrialists might continue to focus on its manufacturing and export.