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India Has Potential to Rule the Footwear & Leather Sector: Piyush Goyal

Goyal assured that any regulations that are harmful to the interests of the industry will be changed and that the government is ready to do so.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Piyush Goyal
Union Minister Piyush Goyal (File Image)

Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, stated today that with the combined efforts of government and businesses, India has the potential to become a global leader in the footwear and leather sector. The latter made the statements while speaking at the Council for Leather Exports National Export Excellence Award ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Goyal asked the organizers to look into the possibility of encouraging new businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and those who come up with innovative ideas to forge ahead with newer markets and products by recognizing them through these awards.

He made this request in his speech to the awardees. He recommended that specific award categories may be developed to recognize their contributions, such as honoring individuals who utilize FTAs effectively.

The Minister stated that while the country commemorates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we expect to increase both - products and service exports over the previous year. While the majority of the developed world, which consumes a lot of leather goods, is experiencing inflation and slowing consumer spending, he said he was relieved to hear from the leather industry that growth will be higher than it was the previous year.

Goyal acknowledged the leather industry's worries over import taxes on particular types of leather and assured them that they would be taken into consideration. Additionally, he exhorted the industry's stakeholders to take advantage of the Department of Revenue's MOOWR programme, under which no duty is required to be paid on imports made with the intention of export. According to him, this will undoubtedly increase commercial competition.

The Minister emphasized that there is a tonne of unrealized potential in the Indian industry. Although the quality of the products being produced is good, he pointed out that in order to increase the value of the product, packaging and branding need to be given greater attention. Indian missions around the world can assist in giving outreach support and connecting them with foreign businesses involved in branding, he added.

He urged the sector to strive for new objectives, particularly as India enters Amrit Kaal, which aims at inclusive growth and providing wealth to every Indian. The minister stated that we are attempting to sign more free trade agreements (FTAs) with other developed countries. He asked the leather and footwear sector to set ambitious goals for the following 25 years and create a strategy to reach those targets. He urged them to consider broadening their horizons, exploring uncharted waters, and creating new goods in India to replace imports.

Goyal gave assurances that the Government is willing to change any rules that are detrimental to the interests of the Industry. In order to address the needs of the business, he also pledged full assistance for the establishment of testing facilities and laboratories around the nation. The government, he said, is eager to work with businesses to make conducting business easier, and he asked them for suggestions on how to make improvements in several areas where business is tough. He requested them to make recommendations on how to improve compliance, how to make laws simpler, and whether laws or clauses may be made less punishable.

He stated that the government is developing a new programme to aid in the production of machinery needed by the sector. Goyal further urged the sector to consider innovation and sustainability in its offerings. He said that the creation of new partnerships with foreign businesses to export high-quality goods to India.

The minister mentioned a few industries with enormous promise, including Kolhapuri Chappals, and urged young businesspeople to look beyond the ordinary and experiment with innovative ideas and branding.

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