Leather industry leaders on Wednesday urged people to preserve rawhides of sacrificial animals for the sake of the industry.
They came up with the request in a virtual meeting, organised the commerce ministry with its Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin in the chair.
Stating that last year 50 percent of rawhides got damaged during Eid-ul-Adha, industry leaders expressed concern that field-level rawhide traders will not be able to reach every house in due time for collection this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That is why people have to take responsibility of preserving hides this year, they said.
Mohiuddin Ahmed Mahin, president of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association, said leather is a national asset and everybody has to take necessary steps to preserve rawhides within 10 minutes after peeling those from slaughtered animals.
He further said to preserve the rawhides, one has to apply 6-8 kilograms of salt on those and thus rawhides will not get damaged in next 30 to 45 days. Then, even if corrupt traders want to decrease their prices, they will not be successful. People will get fair prices.
Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin said it could be a very innovative idea to preserve rawhides. "We are taking necessary preparations on our part. We have to balance between life and livelihood," he added.
Shaheen Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Tanners' Association, requested that the commerce ministry set realistic prices of rawhides in keeping with export prices of leather. "If high prices are imposed, we will not buy those at losses."
Md Saiful Islam, president of Leather-goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh, urged the commerce secretary to introduce a system of providing a receipt while buying rawhides from small and seasonal traders around the country.
"We have to ensure that rawhides be preserved properly and traders get fair prices. We want marginal traders not to face any losses," he added.
"Financial institutions should also come forward with a special package to help them," he said.