Urgent Crisis Threatens Pakistan’s Leather Industry: Raw Material Stuck at Port, Bank Delays, and Continuing Damages Amid Emergency

Urgent Crisis Threatens Pakistan's Leather Industry Raw Material Stuck at Port, Bank Delays, and Continuing Damages Amid Emergency

The Pakistani leather industry is a significant player in the global market, ranking among the top leather-producing nations. It contributes around 2% of Pakistan’s GDP and provides employment to over 2 million people. Pakistan is renowned for its high-quality leather products, such as footwear, gloves, and leather goods, which are exported globally and also have a thriving domestic market. The government has been supportive by investing in infrastructure and training programs to boost the industry, leading to its growth and competitiveness on the international stage. Despite this support, banks and ports are not releasing raw materials used in leather tanneries. The leather industry is a crucial part of Pakistan’s economy and plays a vital role in the global leather trade.



The leather industry in Pakistan has proven to be a main and stable contributor to the country’s economy, consistently bringing in foreign reserves. As one of the top leather-producing nations in the world, the industry contributes approximately 2% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs over 2 million people. With its high-quality leather products, such as footwear, gloves, and leather goods, being exported globally, the leather industry has a significant impact on Pakistan’s foreign reserves. The government’s efforts to support and grow the industry, by investing in infrastructure and training programs, have only further solidified its commitment to bringing in foreign reserves. The leather industry plays a crucial role in Pakistan’s economy and is a reliable source of foreign reserves for the country.


The potential job loss of 2 million workers in the leather industry due to the lack of facilitated import of raw materials is a pressing concern. The leather industry is a crucial part of Pakistan’s economy and provides employment to a large number of people, so it is essential for the government, ports, and banks to take action to support the industry.

One solution is for the banks to immediately release the necessary documents for the importers of raw materials, while the ports could waive any damages, standing in solidarity with the country’s cause to uplift the economy and improve the situation in Pakistan. By working together, the government, ports, and banks can take the necessary steps to facilitate the import of raw materials and ensure the continued operation of the leather industry. This will help to prevent job loss and have a positive impact on the economy and the people of Pakistan.


If the leather industry were to shut down in Pakistan, it would likely have serious consequences for the country’s economy and its people. The leather industry is a significant contributor to Pakistan’s GDP and provides employment to over 2 million people, so a shutdown would result in job loss and reduced income for many families. Additionally, the leather industry is a major player in the global trade of leather goods, and a shutdown would result in decreased exports, affecting the country’s foreign reserves. Furthermore, the shutdown could lead to decreased investment in the country, as well as a negative impact on the local and global supply chains that rely on Pakistani leather.

Overall, a shutdown of the leather industry in Pakistan would have significant economic, social, and political consequences, and it is important for the government and relevant stakeholders to take action to prevent such an outcome.

According to the UNDP, the leather sector in Pakistan has the potential to create more jobs and increase exports.

Some of the chemicals commonly used in the leather-making process include:

  1. Liming agents: To remove hair and other tissue from the hide, a liming solution is used. This solution may contain chemicals like sodium sulfide, calcium hydroxide, or ammonium hydroxide.

  2. Unhairing agents: Once the hair has been removed, the hide is treated with unhairing agents, which help to dissolve the hair follicles. Common unhairing agents include enzymes, such as pepsin or papain, or chemicals like sodium sulfide or sodium hydroxide.

  3. Tanning agents: Tanning is the process of converting raw hide into leather. The most commonly used tanning agents include chromium salts, such as chromium sulfate, as well as vegetable tannins extracted from trees, like oak or quebracho.

  4. Dyes and finishes: Finally, the leather may be dyed and treated with finishes to improve its appearance and durability. This may involve the use of chemicals such as dyes, pigments, or protective coatings.

The blockage of important raw materials such as liming agents, unhairing agents, tanning agents, fatliquors, and dyes and finishes at the Karachi port can have severe consequences for the leather industry. These chemicals are essential in the process of transforming raw hide into leather, and without access to them, production may be impacted and the quality of the end product may suffer. Additionally, the lack of access to these materials may also result in higher costs for the industry, which could further disrupt the supply chain.

The failure to resolve stuck payments and shipments can also harm the reputation of the banks and impact their relationship with the government and regulatory bodies. Banks have a responsibility to operate in a manner that supports the economic growth and stability of the country, and the failure to meet this responsibility can result in negative consequences, including regulatory penalties and reputational damage. By promptly and transparently addressing issues related to stuck payments and shipments, banks can demonstrate their commitment to their clients, the state, and the wider community. They can also ensure that they maintain their credibility and remain a trusted partner in the financial landscape.


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