Sunday, November 15, 2009




The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) deserves praise for taking a right decision at least now to work for revision of the existing norms for identification of finished leather for export. Better late than never. It says in a recent circular that it has been working for the revision of the norms as tanning technology and leather finishing processes have undergone many changes since its coming into force in 1992 and the revised norms would facilitate export of finished leathers from ports without any problem.

According to the CLE, the revised norms framed by the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) in consultation with the leather industry and other stake holders and sent to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in August 2008 have not been approved and notified despite its following up with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and DGFT because according to available information the Department of Commerce, which referred the matter to other departments like Animal Husbandry , Revenue, Industrial Policy and Promotion and also the Bureau of Indian Standards and received their feedback, is planning a joint consultation meeting of the said departments shortly before a final decision is taken on the revision of the finished leather norms for export.

Tanners and exporters are desperately waiting for the export friendly revised norms as the problems faced by them at the customs are galore and terrible and their disappointments know no bounds. As I said earlier in one of my articles in Indian Leather, there are many tanners who do not want to enter into contracts for exports as they do not know if their goods will be passed or not for export or show-cause notice issued. They don't want to take risk at all. Their argument is that a leather is a leather and there should not be any meaningless and rigid norms to define and approve it by the customs.

No doubt the government has come out with many measures and is implementing them to increase industrial growth and export but delays in taking decisions on issues such as the revision of the norms etc. disappoint and discourage the tanners and exporters. When I asked a tanner about export possibilities, he said "the situation is not conducive as the export prices are unworkable and the treatment at the customs humiliating, there is no understanding that we are exporting only leather and nothing else. We cannot waste time, take risk and run every time we do some new “light colours” to the CLRI to get a certificate ( paying the fee of Rs.2041/- per testing ) to the effect that the goods we are exporting are in conformity with the existing norms as otherwise pay fines".

Another exporter also narrated his experience with the customs: “We had an export order for goat suede leathers in many colours. We made the goods ready and submitted our documents to the customs for export. We had problems in shipping them as three of the colours were considered “light” and not approved. It will be clear even to a layman that they were only finished leathers. But according to customs authorities "light colours" do not come in the category of finished leathers as per the existing norms. We cannot dictate colours to our customers. We have to prepare goods according to their requirements. The problems are serious. You can imagine the predicament of the tanners whose goods were not approved for export.”

It is also learnt from reliable sources that many export contracts remain unexecuted because of the problems. There is a 20% decrease in the export of finished leathers. It will go down further if the problems persist unsolved. Small tanners are the worst sufferers now. They feel that they are let down by the CLE and other associations. It is a fact that there is nobody to represent their case.

Many tanners and exporters I interviewed are of the opinion that the Council for Leather Exports and other leather related associations should highlight the problems faced by tanners ( at the time of export at the customs ) to the government and demand for immediate suitable changes in the existing norms for identification of finished leathers so that every exporter – small or big – is able to do business smoothly without any problem and increase their production and export so vital for the country particularly at the present time of recession.

( VMK in Indain Leather, November 2009 )

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Respected ladies and gentlemen,

I am thankful to Janab Kaka Sayeed Ahmed sahib for giving me an opportunity to be present here ( Jamia Darussalam, Oomerabad). I start my speech from the place where Collector sahib (Mr. Dharmendra Pratap Yadau, honourable Collector of Vellore District) ended his speech by saying that parents do not even care if their children are going to school or not. If attempts are made to send their children to school, they oppose it.

This is the state of the Muslims who complain that they are not given their fundamental rights. They must remember that it is their responsibility to bring up their children well giving them good education in order to make them good citizens of this country. I want to draw their attention to the importance of education and hope that they will realise their responsibility and do the needful.

The century in which we are living is the century of education and science. Your happiness and power depend on the education and technology you have. I want to quote the example of the Jews here. If you read their history, you will come to know that they suffered zulm for long because of their own making. But they did not underestimate the importance of education even in these circumstances. The result of their principled life is that they received 180 Nobel prizes in 105 years and Muslims only 3 although the population ratio of Jews and Muslims is 1:100.

Some years ago American Jews collected one million dollars and donated it to their Spiritual Priest in Israel for constructing a grand place of worship there. The Priest said that who are we to construct a palace for that great Almighty who can be prayed anywhere and anytime but to understand him education is necessary and therefore you can establish an educational academy from this amount so that no Jew is ignorant. The result of their thinking and endeavours is that this small country is so powerful as to dictate its terms to the superpower America. Please think it over. Why is it that we could not do it despite far better available resources with us?

Madrasas have been playing an important role in the country for long. They are giving Islamic light to one and all. Their identity is necessary. It was not difficult for the Commission to recommend establishment of schools but it did not do so rightly. We have seen the state of affairs prevailing in government schools in some places. There are many vacancies for Urdu teachers in U.P. but teachers are not appointed. In M.P. and other places there are many schools where there are Urdu teachers but they do not know proper Urdu. I want Madrasa Board to avoid such things in schools, which will be managed by our Ulema, and there will not be any interference in them by the government.

Whenever Madrasa Board is discussed, some people give the example of Bihar. But they forget that the Chairmen of the Board were responsible for their mismanagement. Such people will create problems anywhere, even in your places.

Even if there are any mistakes in the Central Madrasa Board, we should try to rectify them instead of outright rejecting them. I tell this because I have the interest of the community at heart and I want to see all of them getting good education. You can see more Muslim children doing cleaning works in hotels and petty shops. I know that it is their difficulty. Is it not necessary for us to think about them for their bright future and arrange for their education? If you have any plan for this, please tell us as otherwise accept our proposal for Madrasa Board. We do not want big institutions like Darul Uloom and Nadwatul Ulema in this scheme. Let them have their own ways. We want small madrasas to be benefited by the Madrasa Board by becoming its members.

I have taken the oath that I will bring the educational awakening in the community and Insha-Allah I will endeavour my best for it. I am visiting your area since yesterday. It gives me great pleasure to know that there are people in our community who have established and are managing many institutions efficiently. Not only this. They have good plans for doing a lot for the community in future. If we have more people like Kaka Sayeed Ahmed sahib, we can benefit a lot. I am not disappointed with the community. Insha-Allah our community will make progress educationally and economically. It is unfortunate that in North India we do not see efficient people coming forward to establish and run good educational institutions as in South India.

I am happy to see this institution (Jamia Darussalam). I pray to Allah for its further progress. We require more and more people like Maulana Kaka Sayeed Ahmed sahib for marching forward in the educational development of the community. I believe that education is the key for happiness and there is no alternative to it.

(Re-produced from Al-Ameen, monthly newsletter edited by VMK)