Hailing the recent government measures to boost exports, the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) has demanded raising the duty free limit for leather garments to 5 per cent to help raise shipments. India is the second largest exporter of leather garments and enhancing the duty free limit will help achieve the top position, CLE chairman Panaruna Aqeel said.

The current limit is 3 per cent of freight on board (FOB) value of exports. Such a decision will help revive exports from this segment, which has declined by about 13 per cent this year, Aqeel said.

Easy and timely availability of credit with affordable interest levels is extremely important for leather and footwear sector as this alone can help in tapping the huge opportunities available in global markets, he said in a statement.

He added that priority sector lending norms for export finance would galvanise the sector, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises that are affected by the slowdown.

Currently, India’s export of leather and its products stands at about $6 billion. Major export destinations include Europe and the United States. Leather and leather products exports dipped by about 4 per cent to $473 million in July. (DS)