Tannery relocation to be completed by March ’15: Amu

Staff Correspondent

Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu on Thursday asked tannery owners to relocate their units from Hazaribagh to Savar by March next year and said that the delay of the process might cause harm for the country and entrepreneurs.
The minister visited the progress of construction of the Central Effluent Treatment Plant on the day and held a meeting with the tannery owners at the office of leather industrial park in Savar.
Environment minister Anwar Hossain Manju, food minister Qamrul Islam, member of parliament Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods & Footwear Exporters Association chairman MA Taher, former chairman Md Belal Hossain and Bangladesh Tanners Association chairman Md Shaheen Ahmed, among others, attended the meeting.
Citing the threat of international embargo on leather export from Bangladesh, the minister asked entrepreneurs to relocate tanneries to Savar as soon as possible as the country faces a deadline to cut toxic pollution, a meeting source said.
According to the source, Amu assured tannery owners that he would talk to prime minister about the demands of entrepreneurs to resolve the issue of compensation shortly.
European Union, the major destination of leather products, has warned Bangladesh that it would stop importing leather products from the country if the CETP is not established in the industrial zone by 2014.
After the meeting, the industries minister, however, told reporters that the production of eco-friendly leather and leather goods will start by April next year in Savar industrial park as tannery owners agreed to complete the relocation of their factories by March.
Amu hoped that the construction of the CETP will be completed by March next year and the country’s leather sector might be the alternative of garments as the leather products add value more than other products.
‘Start relocation without any delay and your (tannery owners) demands are under the active consideration of the government,’ the minister urged tannery owners.
Amu expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the construction of the CETP and asked the contractor to ensure highest quality of the work.
The government has allocated 205 plots on 200 acres to 155 tannery owners through Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation.
Md Belal Hossain, former chairman of BFLGFEA told New Age that the minister asked them to relocate by March but he is not aware about the nature of tannery business.
It will be so tough to
relocate the tanneries as the work of CETP is progressing slowly and the demands of entrepreneurs remained unsolved, he said.
‘The minister assured us to meet our demands within a short time through discussing with the prime minister,’ Belal said.

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