Indian-sized footwear to be launched soon, reducing dependency on foreign trends: Piyush Goyal

Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that India will soon launch its own ‘Indian size of footwear’, reducing dependency on foreign sizing trends. While addressing the India International Footwear Fair 2023 (IIFF) in New Delhi as the chief guest, Goyal emphasised that India has the potential to become the world’s largest and highest-quality footwear manufacturer.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal

According to a statement from the ministry, Goyal also said that the Indian footwear and leather industry is not only a major foreign exchange earner but also provides employment to approximately 4.5 million people, 40 percent of whom are women, and it represents a ‘labor-intensive sector’.

Goyal on India’s place in the leather based industries

The Union minister said, “India is the second-largest exporter of leather garments, the third-largest exporter of Saddlery & Harness, and the fourth-largest exporter of Leather Goods in the world.”

Goyal further highlighted that more than 95% of the production units in this sector are Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) units.

Speaking about the local raw material, the minister praised the ‘Kolhapuri Footwear of Maharashtra and Mojari Footwear of Rajasthan,’ saying that these should be areas of attraction for international buyers, calling them a ‘rich diverse history’.

What steps did Goyal mention on enhancing the industry?

-Testing facilities will be established by the Government as part of India’s Footwear and Leather Development Programme, the Union minister said, highlighting the steps undertaken by the government for ‘ease of doing business’, such as decriminalisation of corporate offenses, reducing compliance burdens, creating a national single window for all approvals, World Class Infrastructure, and more.

-Goyal urged the stakeholders to expand the business while keeping the “focus on quality and sustainability, eco-friendly processes, waste management, and exploring renewable sources for electricity.”

-The minister also talked about embracing competitiveness in the form of innovative designs for bigger and better growth, saying the products should be developed by the exporters in an innovative and sustainable way.

-Speaking about the design capabilities to move up the ‘value chain’, Goyal said the focus should also be on investments and technology to scale up the production and produce innovative products. He further said that institutions like Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) will be collaborating with the industry to develop new products and technologies in tune with the changing trends and requirements of the market.

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