Misuse of export quota
Country lost $7.57m on live animals export in Jan-Mar
By Razi Syed
KARACHI: The leather sector of Pakistan has faced a loss of $7.57 million during January to March 2012 due to misuse of export quota of live animals to Iran and Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is ignorant of excessive export other than prescribed number of live animals per month, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) said on Monday.
The total impact on leather products export was around $7.575 million besides millions of dollars loss on misusing of export permits.
Talking to Daily Times, former PTA chairman Agha Saiddain said the leather sector in the country is facing enormous scarcity of basic raw materials - hides and skins.
The export of animals is depriving leather industry of 3.300 million square feet of cattle hides and 0.65 million square feet of sheep and goat skins.
The scarcity of hides and skins will further push prices of raw material higher and some more tanneries may shut down their production causing unemployment in the country, he maintained.
Since there is no proper check at borders near Quetta and Peshawar, the exporters use same permits again and again in connivance with customs staff.
Due to this malpractice the actual number of animals exported is much higher than the quantity for which export permits are issued.
The most dangerous thing is that the fully matured livestock is exported which creates an acute shortage of livestock, Saiddain added.
Authorities have ignored this most important point while taking this short - sighted decision of approval of quota for exports.
This will also bring pressure on beef and meat prices, whose prices are already sky high for the protein deficient nation.
Keeping in view it is suggested that PTA with the owners of slaughterhouses and butchers would take up this matter strongly with the government’s approval of quota for export of live animals.
An official in the MoC said the government has once again allowed export of live animals from Pakistan.
From January to March 2012, from Karachi and Gwadar ports, 5,000 buffalos, 8,000 sheep and goats, from Quetta border 2,000 buffalos and 1,000 goats and sheep and from Peshawar 5,000 buffalos and 1,000 sheep and goats were allowed.
From April to June, 13,000 buffalos and 28,000 sheep and goats from Karachi and Gwadar ports, 8,000 buffalos and 1,000 sheep and goats Quetta border and 15,000 buffalos and 1,000 sheep and goats and from Peshawar are allowed.
From October to December 2012, except 13,000 buffalos from Peshawar the number of export permit for other live animals is same.
Owing to unavailability of this basic raw material, the sector will face high production cost as a consequence of which the production of leather sector will also shrink further from the existing level, which is at the moment ranging from 50 percent to 60 percent having only four working days for production.
Besides the second biggest export-oriented leather sector faced this heavy monetary loss due to massive power and gas load shedding resorted by Karachi Electricity Supply Company and Watewr and Power Development Authority in industrial areas of Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot.
Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development failed to take any immediate action to stop export, smuggling despite assurance to PTA in a meeting on June 27, 2011.