MULTAN - Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Executive Member Kh Mehr Ali has said that the leather exports of the country can go up to $3 billion from current $1 billion besides creation of three million new jobs in the leather industry if the government succeeds in controlling animal smuggling and imposes a ban on import of Wetblue Raw Hides and Skins.

Talking to The Nation here, he revealed that 70 per cent of total leather fell into F category because of absence of slaughter houses and slaughtering of animals through manual methods as a result of which it lost premium category. He said that the leather of animals smuggled to Afghanistan was taken away by Central Asian states while the import of Wetblue leather still continued despite imposition of 20 per cent duty. “Resultantly, the country is falling short of raw material,” he added.

He pointed out that the local leather industry suffered 20 to 30 per cent decline in demand because of Chinese shoes and other leather items. “It is alarming,” he warned. He said that on one hand Pakistani leather industry faced serious decline while on the other side Chinese and Indian leather imports went up because of facilities offered to them by their governments.

He warned that the import bill of Pakistan went up by every passing day, badly harming national economy. He added that the local leather industry was fast losing its competitiveness because of multiple reasons like load shedding, multiple taxes and poor law and order situation. He said that if the gas supplied to just two textile mills was given to entire leather industry it could prepare export quality goods worth $1 billion while the textile mills produced material worth just $25 million.

He asked the government to seriously consider the demands of tanners as it could give a major boost to national economy.

250 books donated: Promotion of book reading and use of library is essential for the progress of a nation and therefore the students need to give more time to book reading and must learn to use library.  This was stated by Al-Haqiq Lions Club Reading Promotion Project Chairman Dr Mumtaz Ansari while addressing a book donation ceremony held at Maj Akram Shaheed Library here the other day.

Lions Club International Region Chairman Qadeer Aziz and Municipal Officer Ishrat Ali attended the meeting.

They handed over 250 books to Maj Akram Shaheed Library President.  Earlier, a speech contest was held among students on the subject of “Use of book reading and library are essential in modern age”.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Haqiq Lions Club President Dr M Tariq Mirza and Dr A Gafoor Malik said that “A healthy combination of language and culture speaks of a healthy society but unfortunately we have not put enough effort to promote our culture and literature.

 and that is why today’s language is that of weapons and materialism.”

They said that the concept of the nation state was under threat and to save our identity, libraries must take a lead in promoting the national culture and Urdu language.  They said that books in everybody hand was a sign of national progress.  Later, three prizes were distributed among the winners.