LAHORE - The nation had to pay more than double amount of last year for almost the same quantity of sacrificial animals on this Eid-ul-Azha due to sharp increase in inflation, as the masses spent around Rs228 billion and slaughtered about 7.5 million animals as compared to Rs130 billion spent on almost 5.9 million animals in 2012.

The number of animals sacrificed this year has shown a slight improvement according to conservative estimates based on information gathered from hides’ dealers of Lahore Chamra Mandi – the largest skins market of Pakistan, after Multan and Kasur.

The rising trend in rates of hides of sacrificial animals was also recorded on this Eid-ul-Azha, as the rate went up to Rs4,500 from Rs3,000 per calf or cow hide while prices of sheep or goat skin remained stable in the range of Rs500-600.

According to estimates from the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), almost 7.5 million animals were slaughtered this year as compared to the 5.9 million that were slaughtered in 2012. The number of cows/calves slaughtered has also increased, reaching 2 million from 1.5 million, said Agha Saidain, former central chairman of PTA.

“Goat slaughtering has increased by 10 per cent this year while sheep and camel slaughtering registered a rise of 25 to 45 per cent,” he said, stating that almost 4.5 million goats, 1 million sheep and 50,000 camels were slaughtered this year.

Agha Saidain estimated that some Rs228 billion were circulated in Pakistan’s economy, of which Rs215 billion was in animal sales and Rs10.12 billion in hides and skins business while the remaining amount was generated from allied industries. The average price of cow/calf has also increased by Rs10,000 and is calculated at Rs45,000, the price of goat rose to Rs25000 from Rs15,000, sheep to Rs18,000 from Rs12,000 while camel rates reached 150,000 from 50,000.

Agha said that Eid-ul-Azha contributed almost 20 per cent to the total industrial needs of the country’s leather sector. He said that hides from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh also arrived in Lahore but hides from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan fetched low rates due to their deteriorated condition.

Eid-ul-Azha generates economic activity worth approximately Rs150 to Rs200 billion in the country. A large chunk of this, which includes activities ranging from selling sacrificial animals, the hides and skins business, fodder consumption and butcher charges, goes to the country’s rural economy.

Eid-ul-Azha is the only occasion when such a large business transaction takes place in a very short span of time, he said.

Sheikh Saqib Saeed Masood, chairman Pakistan Tanners’ Association strongly demanded the uninterrupted supply of electricity & gas to leather sector for coming 45-60 days for smooth processing of hides & skins of sacrificial animals collected on the eve of Qurbani, which is vital need of the industry for smooth execution of exports orders for fetching precious foreign exchange.

Saqib said that industry desperately needs the uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas for coming 45-60 days to enable the leather manufacturers for smooth processing of these perishable hides & skins within the humidity climate of the country, otherwise manufacturers would be in great problems in processing of these items.

“This is necessary for processing hides before getting putrefaction which entirely damages the raw hides. The skins, being a perishable item, cannot be stored without processing which requires uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas. ” He pointed out that hides are basic raw material for leather industry to make leather garments, bags, footwear, ballets and gloves. All these goods are exported that generates substantial amount of foreign exchange. He demanded the government to grant special status to the tanning industry and ensure supply of gas and electricity.

Comparison of number of animals

Animals     2010    2011    2012    2013

COW    1225000    1210000    1550000    2000000

GOAT    3175000    3575000    3450000    4500000

SHEEP    560000    680000    720000    1000000

CAMEL    25000    27000    30000    50000

Animals    Animals number     Avg animal rate     Total value

Cow    2000000    Rs45000    Rs90000000000

Goat    4500000    Rs25000    Rs112500000000

Sheep    1000000    Rs18000    Rs18000000000

Camel    50000    Rs150000    Rs7500000000

Total    7.55 million        Rs228000000000