|Published : 17 Sep 2016, 22:32:10|
Procurement prices of rawhides and skins
Developments surrounding procurement and processing of rawhides and skins of animals sacrificed on the occasion of this year's Eid-ul-Azha celebration smack of mismanagement and undue profit-making. The blame for managing the situation ineptly goes to the government and the lust for making additional profit, as usual, goes to businesses involved in trade and processing of rawhides and skins and leather goods. Media reports were unanimous that the rates for procurement of rawhides and skins of sacrificial animals this year were well below the justified ones. The businesses involved in trade and processing of these items generally take decision on the procurement rates, but the government has always been playing an active role in the decision-making process.
The businesses concerned had fixed procurement rates, lower by around 30 per cent than those of the previous year, citing reasons such as 'declining' international prices of leather and leather goods and higher cost of processing of hides and skins because of the rise in the prices of salt. But unusually lower rates of procurement have given rise to a number of undesirable results. Reports in the media confirmed that many people in rural areas dumped hides and skins underground, instead of selling the same at throwaway prices. The lower procurement rates might have helped the tanners and traders of hides and skins to earn more profits, but have deprived the poor people. The money earned through the sale of hides and skins of sacrificial animals is distributed among them and also given to thousands of orphanages and religious institutions across the country.
Many orphanages are largely dependent on the fund received through the sale of hides and skins that people make available to them on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. These organisations are likely to face serious financial trouble this year because of the lower than usual earning from the sale of hides and skins. Moreover, it has been reported widely that 'seasonal' traders are the worst victims of unusually low prices of hides and skins. Their inexperience in this particular business could be responsible for the financial loss they have suffered. But genuine traders must understand one particular fact that collection of hides and animals in huge numbers from across the country within a short period of time would not have been possible without the support of so-called seasonal traders.
So, any continuous loss would only discourage this section of people from being involved in trade in hides and skins on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, leading to disruption in the supply-chain. There is ample reason to believe that the rates that were fixed by the relevant trade bodies for procurement of hides and skins of sacrificial animals this year could be reasonably higher. The rates that Bangladesh exporters of salted rawhides and skins are now offering to international buyers would substantiate that fact. Tanners and relevant traders do need to bear in mind that any parochial approach would cause more harm than good to the leather and leather goods industry. They need to develop a sound business strategy that would better protect everybody's interest. The government should play the role of a facilitator in the task of implementing such a strategy.