Union Minister Suresh Prabhu today underlined the Centre’s commitment to the leather industry and cited the Rs 2600 crore package approved for the sector earlier.

The Union Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister also assured state governments of help in setting up new leather clusters or providing additional facilities.

“We are committed to develop this industry. And you should thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We approved a massive package of Rs 2600 crore,” he said in an interactive session organised by the Council of Leather Exports (CLE) here.

This was a ‘transparent’ package, he said and urged the industry to make the most if it.

The government had earlier approved the package for employment generation in the leather and footwear sectors, which has the potential to generate 3.24 lakh new jobs in three years and assist in the formalisation of two lakh jobs.

The package involves implementation of central scheme, ‘Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme’ over three financial years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The minister said the Centre was “willing” to sanction a new mega leather cluster in Tamil Nadu and said the matter has already been taken up with the state government.

He said assurances have been made to Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to help boost the sector in these states.

“Any government wants to do this, we will be very happy to support,” he added.

The minister said while the Centre has already sanctioned five common effluent treatment plants, nine were awaiting approval, he said.

Earlier, the minister presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to M Mohammed Hashim, founder chairman, CLE.

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