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Lend us a helping hand, Leather Industry urges Government


Vellore accounts for 30 per cent of leather exports in the country and stakeholders want the government to play a bigger role in improving the sector.— File Photo: D.Gopalakrishnan
The leather industry in Vellore district is one of the largest in the country, and it is looking to the State government for help with resources and give a boost to the infrastructure.
Areas in Vellore district, particularly Ranipet, Melvisharam, Ambur and Vaniyambadi, are home to hundreds of leather manufacturing units. Nationally, if the whole State accounts for 45 per cent of leather exports, Vellore’s share stands at 30 per cent, according to M. Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman of Council for Leather Exports.
“When it comes to leather exports, Vellore is the largest contributing district. One of the biggest problems faced by the sector here is environment related. In many States, the government contributes to enable leather industries to adopt and implement a zero-liquid discharge system,” he says.
While industries get funding from the Centre for the implementation of the system, the Tamil Nadu government, Mr. Ahmed says, should contribute funds for bringing in a permanent solution.
Another crucial requirement for the leather sector is continuous power supply. To boost exports, the State government should intervene and get the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated expressway built fast, he adds.
“The works have been stalled for nearly five years. If this is completed, there will be 24-hour movement of container lorries. Presently, lorries are allowed into the port after 10 p.m. and this is leading to queuing of vehicles. The project will breathe life into the port.”
Water shortage
S. Faiyaz Ahmed, honorary secretary of Ambur Tanners Association, also insists that the government should invest in the sector. “We are facing a water shortage in Vellore. We recycle processed water and reuse it. Currently, we are able to recycle 70 per cent water, and want to take this to 90 per cent. This requires a lot of investment, and we need the State government’s investment to take this forward.”
Of the total exports, Vellore alone accounts for Rs. 5,000-Rs. 6000 crore worth of products.
“Many foreigners visit places such as Ranipet, Ambur and Vaniyambadi. The municipalities do not have sewage treatment plants and sewage overflows onto the roads in many areas, and this does not give a good impression,” he says. The government, Mr. Faiyaz Ahmed adds, should provide special attention for towns that generate employment and foreign exchange and establish proper infrastructure such as STPs and roads.
According to him, the town of Ambur contributes Rs. 14 crore annually to the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme. But, the people here do not get to enjoy the benefits.
“Only two ESI hospitals in the State — at Chennai and Salem — performed major surgeries,” he points out. “The ESI dispensary at Ambur should be upgraded and equipped to perform major surgeries.”
 Source: THE HINDU
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  1. Subsidised scooter, free power among AIADMK’s top promises
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    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa with party leader M Thambidurai releases the party's election manifesto in Perundurai on Thursday. Photo: M. Govarthan
    The Hindu
    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa with party leader M Thambidurai releases the party's election manifesto in Perundurai on Thursday. Photo: M. Govarthan
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    AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announces a slew of freebies and welfare measures to stake her claim for a successive term in office.

    Going full steam on the populist route, AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced a slew of freebies and welfare measures to stake her claim for a successive term in office.

    Releasing the AIADMK’s election manifesto at Perundurai in Erode district — the native of Dravidian icon Periyar — Ms. Jayalalithaa promised to provide free cellphones to all ration card holders, free set-top-boxes to Arasu cable viewers, free internet with free laptops for students and wi-fi in public places like bus termini, commercial complexes and parks.

    Targeting women, she announced that the government will give 50 per cent subsidy on mopeds/scooters for women to facilitate easy commute. She also increased maternity leave to nine months, maternity assistance to Rs. 18,000 and gold for thali (mangal sutra) to one sovereign (eight gram). Under the noon meal scheme, children would also be provided breakfast.

    For farmers, Ms. Jayalalithaa promised to waive all kinds of loans with co-operative banks and lend Rs. 40,000 crore as farm loans over the next five years. The State will not allow any scheme, including methane or shale gas extraction, that is detrimental to the delta farmers, she promised.

    Free power

    She also announced that 100 units of electricity will be provided to households free of cost. “This will benefit everyone; in particular, the 78 lakh domestic users consuming below 100 units will not have to pay any charge,” she said. Ms. Jayalalithaa also increased the free power available to handloom and powerloom weavers to 200 and 750 units, respectively.

    Employment

    Under the head ‘job for one in each household’, Ms. Jayalalithaa has promised to create opportunities to ensure employment for one person in each family. The government will repay the educational loans of youth who have taken the loans but could not find jobs.

    There was not much on offer on the industrial front, including schemes for the information technology and infrastructure sectors.

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  2. Former Union Minister and BJP leader Arun Shourie has described the Centre as a “one-man government,” a presidential form of government, without checks and balances.

    In an interview broadcast by India Today channel on Friday, Mr. Shourie said the direction the government was taking under Mr. Modi’s supervision was “not good for India.” He compared Mr. Modi’s two years as Prime Minister “as a boxing match with everybody.” Mr. Modi, he added, “hasn’t had the focus we expected of him.” One of the problems was that the Prime Minister was “getting inputs from very few people.”
    ‘Polarising move’

    Mr. Shourie said there was a clear line of logic or theme that linked ghar-wapsi, love jihad, beef bans, the return of awards, the campaign against anti-nationalism, the focus on ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and student protests. These were “deliberately orchestrated by the government” with the intention to create “confrontation and polarisation.” Mr. Modi was deliberately dividing India through a policy of “divide and rule.”

    While accepting that under Mr. Modi’s rule corruption at the Centre had diminished or disappeared, Mr. Shourie said that nothing was deliberately done about corruption in the States

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