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Leather exporters seek immediate support from govt: CLE

New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Seeking immediate support from the government, Council of Leather Exports (CLE) on Thursday said shipment orders worth USD 1 billion (around Rs 7,600 crore) was cancelled in the last one week on account of coronavirus spread.

CLE Chairman Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna urged the government for immediate relief for the exporters.

Over 90 per cent of our exporters fall under MSME and there is a huge loss of capital for all of them, he said in a statement.

The industry employs 4.42 million people.

In these challenging times the sector is facing huge losses and 'I am extremely concerned that the companies in the leather, leather products and footwear sector (including non-leather footwear, components and sub-suppliers) will not survive, unless the central and state governments implement a stimulus package,' the chairman said.

Explaining the current situation, Panaruna said the overseas buyers are continuously cancelling their export orders due to unstable situation in major markets, including Italy, Germany, Spain, France, the UK and US, which constitute about 65 per cent of leather exports.

Further, the buyers have put-on hold the shipments which are ready for export, he said.

'The buyers in other major markets have also drastically reduced their buying forecasts. The virus spread has adversely impacted more than 2,700 registered manufacturer exporters who are in deep trouble across pan India,' he added. PTI RR BAL BAL