Achievements and Progresses:

Remarkable progress has been achieved and several milestones have been attained ever since the coalition is working to facilitate the relocation process of tanneries in order to promote the leather sector development. Three of the most important achievements till date since the formation of the coalition are: Consensus on the Cost-Sharing Model in CETP construction in May 2013; Signing of the Revised MoU in October 2013; Initiation of CETP construction in March 2014.

CETP: Construction progress

The CETP (Central Effluent Treatment Plant) in the New Tannery Industrial Estate at Savar is the lifeline of the relocation project to the industrial estate as it symbolizes a major shift in terms of environmental compliance of the tanning industry in Bangladesh. After the signing of the Revised MoU between BSCIC (Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation) and leather associations on 13th October 2013, followed by some bureaucratic and technical difficulties, the construction of the CETP has been initiated in March 2014. Tanners have also started constructing their factories in the new industrial estate from their current base at Hazaribagh by leaving all the pollution stories behind. Technically, the CETP is being built as a modern one with a capacity of 5 ML/D. A STP (Sewage Treatment Plant), a Common Chrome recovery Plant with capacity of 350 m3/day with 3 modules, and a Sludge Power Generation System will also be built in the new tannery industrial estate subsequently.

By June 2014, the Chinese contractors have reportedly laid down the foundation for most of the important components of the CETP like oxidation ditch, equalization tank, STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) etc.

 

Other significant achievements and progresses as outcomes of the efforts of the coalition, till date, are listed below:

  1. - The acceptance of the cost-sharing model was the first and fabulous success of the coalition. Sustained efforts of the coalition led to the Ministry of Finance to arrange a meeting in 14 May 2013 and to agree to bear the entire cost of the CETP, and 80% of the total project cost that is estimated at BDT 1078 crore.
  2. - Additionally, the Government agreed to allocate BDT 250 crore for compensation to the tannery owners on the meeting of the Ministry of Finance in 14 May 2013. Later, the ECNEC and the Prime Minister’s Office reviewed and accepted these decisions in August 2013.
  3. - The coalition facilitated the grand event for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between parties (BSCIC, BTA and BFLLFEA) at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in 13 October 2013.
  4. - Ministry of Industry has finally appointed Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) as consultants to BSCIC in this relocation project in February 2014.
  5. - BSCIC has approved the drawing-design of the CETP in early March of 2014.
  6. - BSCIC has sent a formal letter to the contractor companies of CETP informing them the final approval of the drawing-design of the CETP in mid of March 2014.
  7. - BSCIC has expanded the project timeline up to 06th October 2014 so that the contractors of the CETP get proper time to accomplish their task.
  8. - The contractors have started the construction work of the CETP in late March 2014.
  9. - Almost all the 155 tannery owners with plots in the industrial estate have submitted layout plans to BSCIC.
  10. - BSCIC has already approved around 150 layout plans while some others are being verified and sent back for minor revisions.
  11. - The BRPD section of the central bank has already issued a circular on the issue of rescheduling existing loans of tanneries in early 2013. Later, the leather coalition facilitated regular meetings in Bangladesh Bank dated on June 02nd, July 17th, September 25th, and most recently on October 2nd, 28th, and 30th, to revise the timeline of the previous circular. In consequence, BB issued a new circular dated on 2nd November of 2014 saying that the tanneries which have already moved to the new industrial estate from Hazaribagh or under process to do so will get an opportunity to shift their irregular loans into block accounts and will have eight years for repayment, with a one-year grace period.
  12. - In a meeting with the coalition on 6th March, JICA expressed their interest to work for leather sector development, and to visit tanneries to understand the sector needs and potentials.
  13. - The SME section of the Bangladesh Bank is working on the issue to incorporate leather sub-sectors under SME financing as per the directions of the Governor of the bank.
  14. - The Ministry of Industry has also approved appointing the technical advisor of leather associations in the ministerial sub-committee on compensation package.
  15. - Very recently, the ministerial sub-committee on compensation package has finalized the compensation guidelines and expressed their plan to disburse the first installment by October-November 2014.
  16. - By April 2015, total of 149 tannery owners have started construction of new factories. Out of these 149 entrepreneurs, 90 of tannery owners have made notable progress in constructing new factories in the Tannery Industrial Estate.
  17. -At the same time by April 2015, about 75 tanneries of the civil work of the CETP has been done accordingly. In a recent meeting held on April 23, the Chinese contractors of the CETP has informed that 50% commissioning of the CETP by June-July 2015 is possible. With 50% capacity in operation , the CETP will be ready to treat 30% of tannery wastes.