Footwear makers welcomed finance minister Arun Jaitley’s move to bring down the excise duty to 6 per cent from 12 per cent on footwear with leather uppers priced above Rs. 1,000.
The move is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing in tandem with the government’s “Make In India agenda”. The industry believes that there could be a slide in prices, too. The development will enable the country to compete with countries such as China and even wean consumers away from cheaper imports flooding the market.
Presenting his budget proposals, Jaitley said, “To boost the domestic leather footwear industry, excise duty on footwear with leather uppers and having retail price of more than Rs. 1,000 per pair is being reduced to 6 per cent.”
According to Adhar Sahni, vice-president of Indian Leather Products Association, there are many exporters waiting to tap opportunities in the local footwear market.
“Leather in India is a large sector and we have one of the largest number of livestock. If there is any sector where India can compete favourably, it is leather. The FM has also talked of skill development that should benefit us as leather is a skill job. We can provide support to polytechnic colleges to tap talent,” Sahni said.