India has immense potential in Footwear sector and can increase the production and export 10 times in near future, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles said at the ‘Meet at Agra-Leather, Footwear Components & Technology Fair’.
Goyal said that about 7,000 small industries units are connected with Footwear sector which holds great significance to the economy and Foreign Exchange Earnings of the country. Nearly 40 per cent women are employed in the sector and for every 1,000 pairs that are produced/sold, 425 jobs are secured, he said at the event on Friday.
India is the 2nd largest producer of footwear and leather garment and can become world leader and accounts for nearly 3 bn sq.ft of world’s tannery, he added.
Goyal urged the industry representatives to ensure safety and health measures of the laborers working in the sector. He advocated ethical & responsible practices - zero-waste discharge, salt-free tanning, and occupational health & safety interventions.
The minister suggested the stakeholders to adopt Quality Control Order so that imports could be limited and good quality exports may be achieved. He said strong global branding through road shows, e-platforms and Global JVs will help the sector make a mark globally.
Goyal suggested multi-skilling so that world best quality should be manufactured/produced in India as well as Global markets. He said that Centre is working towards getting zero duty access through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in leather goods, sportswear and footwear.
The Minister urged the sector representatives to look into non-leather footwear sector as well. He quoted the example of Textile sector mentioning that a lot of emphasis is now being given to the production of man-made fibre.
The Centre has notified the Indian Footwear & Leather Development Programme (IFLDP) with an outlay of Rs 1700 crore for implementation during 2021- 26.
Goyal mentioned that all leading brands are dependent for raw material on India. He urged to prepare a plan so that Indian brands with high value projects find their way in the global market. He also suggested that National Institute of Design and National Institute of Packaging should collaborate to work towards skill development so as to create new designs for Indian and Global market, a PIB release stated.