Salt price hike ahead of Eid-ul Azha worries tanners

10 ខែ មុន 1 sathapich

Bangladesh : Tanners are worried over the high salt prices in the country as it will raise the cost of rawhide preservation of sacrificed animals during the Eid-ul Azha.

Though the government has allowed the import of unrefined salt keeping in mind the tannery industry’s demand, some unscrupulous businesspeople increased the prices of salt creating an artificial crisis in the market ahead of the Eid-ul Azha, they claimed.

Salt, an essential ingredient for the preservation of rawhides, is selling at Tk 18-19 per kg against the import price of only Tk 5.25, the tanners also claimed.

According to industries and commerce ministries, some 14 lakh metric tonnes of salt was produced in the country this year against the annual demand of 16 lakh metric tonnes. The government has already approved 232 refinery mills to import five lakh tonnes of salt more to meet the deficit.

Rawhide traders said it needs 8-10 kg salt for preserving each cow rawhide, while 10-12 kg for each buffalo rawhide and 1-2kg salt for goat and sheep. So, it will cost Tk 150 to Tk 200 against salt for each cowhide. It needs to use salt in rawhides within six hours after the animal slaughtered.

According to an estimate of Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA), the tanners will collect some 45-50 lakh pieces of cowhides, 15-20 lakh pieces of goat hides, 5 lakh pieces of sheep’s hides and 5 lakh pieces of buffalo hides during the Eid-ul Azha.

As per the statistics of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), there are 5.47 crore of animals in the country. Of them, at least 2.54 crore cows and buffalos, while 2.93 crore goats and sheep.

Among those, some 1.15 lakh animals are suitable for sacrifices during the Eid-ul Azha.

“Now a sack having 72kg salt is selling at Tk 1350 in Dhaka, while Tk 1250 in Chittagong. So, the price of per kg salt stands at Tk 18-19, though the import cost of is only Tk 5.25,” BTA general secretary Shakawat Ullah told UNB.

The price of one sack of salt was Tk 1,000 just a week ago, he claimed.

The tanners said the prices of rawhides should not be increased this time as the salt price is high. Besides, they said, there is a downtrend in the prices of hides on the international market.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday will sit with tanners for fixing the prices of rawhides.

About the meeting, BTA chairman Shaheen Ahmed told UNB that the Commerce Minister is going to sit with them on Sunday.

He claimed that seasonal traders finally purchase rawhides at higher rates than the ones fixed by the government.

The BTA chairman said the tannery industry is passing through a critical time as many tanneries are yet to shift in the designated tannery estate in Savar from the capital’s Hazaribagh area.

“Some 63-64 industrial units have been set up at Savar tannery estate. Of these, only 20-25 got gas connections,” he claimed.

During the Eid-ul Azha in 2016, tanners brought cowhide with salt at Tk 50 per square foot in Dhaka and Tk 40 elsewhere in the country.

They purchased goat hide at maximum Tk 20 per square foot, while that of she-goat at Tk 15 per square foot, buffalo hide at Tk 25 per square foot in 2016.unb.

Source : theindependent