Special Correspondent

  • 5 SEZ footwear parks being developed in country
  • Each park will have the capacity to generate 5,000 jobs

    CHENNAI: Five special economic zone footwear parks were being developed in various parts of the country, under the Council for Leather Exports' vision map for 2010-2011, CLE chairman Mukhtarhul Amin told reporters here on Thursday.

    The Tamil Nadu Government was promoting one such park at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, with a saleable area of 105 acres and a capacity to house 20 units. Other parks were coming up near Kanpur, Hyderabad, Agra and Kolkata. The Sriperumbudur park will have the capacity to manufacture one lakh pairs of footwear a day.

    The CLE had also proposed the setting up of 15 integrated leather parks under the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The Government would share 40 per cent of the equity costs of each park to be set up at a cost of Rs 100 crore. Each park had the capacity to generate 5,000 jobs.

    Change in curricula

    To cope with the shortage of skilled manpower the leather industry was facing, the CLE had suggested changes in the curricula of academic institutions such as the Central Footwear Training Institute and the IITs. While new training centres would be established, the functioning of existing ones would be improved. Workstations for training rural youth would be set up. Depending on the success of a pilot project at Kancheepuram, such workstations would come up in other parts of the country.

    The CLE had targeted an increase of exports to US $ 7 billion by 2010-2011, from the existing US $ 3 billion. An estimated Rs. 7,300 crore in investments would be required over the next five years.

    Two tanning clusters would be set up for increasing tanning capacity, the first one coming up near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. The Council was also planning to attract foreign direct investments by organising road shows abroad. A few foreign firms had already set up ventures in India, including the Taiwanese company Feng Tae's facility at Cheyyar near Chennai.