CHATTOGRAM, Sep 15: The seasonal traders who collected rawhide here during Eid-ul-Azha last month are suffering huge losses with 0.1 million pieces of unsold rawhide they are preserving in storages spending a lot of money to prevent the perishing.
Besides, nonpayment of dues for the rawhide bought from them by buyers from Dhaka on and after the Eid day has compounded their financial woes.
Sources said the seasonal traders and Arothdars (owners of storages) collected 0.5 million pieces of raw and salted hide in Chattogram at low prices on and after the Eid day this year. But around 0.1 million (one lakh) pieces remained unsold which they are preserving in godowns. Moreover, the buyers from Dhaka allegedly have not paid for the rawhide they purchased from the seasonal traders and store owners over a month back.
President of Chittagong Leather Arothdar Samity, Abdul Kader, said, "We have collected around five lakh pieces of rawhide in the current year. We bought the goods as per the government-fixed rates. But over one lakh pieces are yet to be sold which we are still preserving at our godowns."
He said there were some 22 tanneries in Chattogram (which remained operative) one decade ago. Of that, only two are producing leather goods now while the rest have been closed, he said.
"So, we are selling our leather to (buyers from) Dhaka. But, the Dhaka buyers are yet to pay the prices of the leathers sold to them during Eid this year," said Mr Kader.
The Arothdar (storage) Samity leader said a large quantity of rawhide is perishing in Chattogram now for want of adequate preserving facilities.
"There are no adequate facilities to preserve rawhide and leather in Chattogram. So, huge leather is rotting now," he said urging the government to take steps to protect the hide and leather business in Chattogram by setting up a tannery village here.
After the Eid day, the Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) dumped some 15,000 pieces of rawhide in its dumping places as permanent leather traders did not buy the goods from the seasonal traders even at throwaway prices, said the seasonal traders and local store owners.