Banks giving more loans this year to hide traders, tannery owners

Golam Mowla
Published : 07:30, Aug 08, 2019 | Updated : 20:07, Aug 11, 2019

Rawhide traders say they had to sprinkle 8-9kg salt over a piece of cowhide and 1-1.5kg salt over a piece of goatskin PHOTO/Mehedi HasanCompared to last year, banks are giving more money this year to buy animal hide during Eid ul Azha. Four state owned banks, Sonali, Agrani, Janata and Rupali are giving around 17.5 billion as loan in addition to renewing previous loans.
In the private sector, Uttara, National and other banks are also providing loans though the amount has not been ascertained as yet.
Last year, banks gave Tk 6.01 billion loan to traders for buying raw hide. Chief executives of banks have said that loans were given to those who returned previous loans.
Along with tannery owners, 24 new organisations are getting loan this year. Last year, banks gave loans to 42 tanneries.
Agrani Bank’s MD, Mohammad Shamsul Islam has said: “Profitable times beckon leather traders with the establishment of Central Effluent Treatment Plant, CETP, in Savar.”
This year, traders will get Tk 1.3 billion as loan, compared to Tk 1.05 billion last year.
But state owned BASIC Bank will not give any loan this year for buying hide.
MD of BASIC Bank, Rafiqul Alam, says: “One person who took loan earlier failed to return it and so, we will not hand out any loans to buy raw hide.”
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi declared price of hide for this year after a meeting with leather traders.
In Dhaka, per square feet of cow leather will be between Tk 45 and Tk 50; outside Dhaka it will be between Tk 35-40. The hide of goats will be Tk 18-20 per square feet all over the country and lambs Tk 13-15.
State owned bank Janata is giving the highest loan this year to buy animal hides with Tk 13 billion.
Janata Bank Managing Director Md Abdus Salam Azad says: “This year, Tk 2 billion will be handed out as loan to buy leather and loans of another Tk 11 will be renewed.”
Rupali Bank will be giving Tk 2.5 billion as loan while Sonali will give Tk 700 million.
As per directive from Bangladesh Bank, these loans are handed over at the low rate of 7 percent. Leather traders say that more than half of the collection in one year comes during Eid ul Azha with top quality hide.
Typically, Eid-ul-Azha alone produces around half the quantity of total annual demand of rawhides. Tanners prefer to procure rawhides of sacrificial animals of better quality.
On Jul 16, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said around 10 million pieces of rawhide would be produced during Eid this year.
In a statement, the ministry estimated 11.8 million stock of eligible sacrificial animals in the country this year, which is higher than last year’s demand.
The ministry said the country's domestic livestock included nearly 4.6 million cows and buffalos, and 7.2 million goats and sheep.
The statement said the country had sufficient stock of sacrificial animals last year too.
Besides the public sector banks, a number of private commercial banks also provide loans to tanners ahead of Eid-ul-Azha every year.