The crackdown by the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on illegal slaughterhouses, which has now spread to many other BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, could eventually result in a price hike for leather products across the country.
If the ban on illegal abattoirs continues, the prices of products made out of leather (which mainly uses buffalo hide) – from car upholstery to footwear and purses – will witness a considerable jump.
The mass closure of slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh has not only left thousands of people in the meat business jobless but is also affecting the livelihood of those associated with auxiliary sectors relying on meat and by-products in other states as well.
The manufacturing of cricket balls, volley balls, leather industry, soaps and hadicraft are among the 168 industries that depend on meat industry and are now facing the heat of closure of illegal slaughterhouses.
Uttar Pradesh is the main source of buffalo hide for the leather industry in India, which is used for almost 50 per cent of products sold in the country as well as exported.
After being hit by demonetisation, the crackdown on abattoirs has resulted in a production cut of 40 per cent in the leather industry which was growing at the rate of 15 per cent and was expected to touch $27 billion (approx. Rs 1.7 lakh crore) in the next five years from the current $12 billion (approx Rs 78,000 crore) before the announcement of note ban on November 8 last year, a Hindustan Times report said.
In Kanpur’s Penchbagh, around 40,000 people are employed at 600 leather industry go-downs. While half of them faced closure in the aftermath of note ban, another 100 had to shut shop after the ban on illegal slaughterhouses.
Maharashtra is also facing the brunt of slaughterhouse ban as most of the raw material supply comes from UP. Around 6000 people in Kolhapur, which are employed in the business of hadcrafted Kolhapuri chappal, are already bearing the heat of abattoir ban.
The ban of illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh will also affect the leather industry in Jalandhar. The traders are expecting the rates of hides to jump by at least 30 per cent. Over 10,000 employees associated with the leather industry are expected to be affected due to the ban.