SRINAGAR: Ban on sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir has the raw skin and hide dealers in the state worried about the future of their trade.
The Jammu and Kashmir high court recently banned sale of beef in the state. The decision created uproar, with the people in Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley protesting through a general shutdown.
The Srinagar-based dealers of raw skin and hides told Kashmir Reader that the imposition of ban is likely to hit their trade.
“We usually deal in hides and skin of sheep and goat, but the skin of bovine animals used to fetch us better returns. And of late, the hides (from bovine animals) were being produced in good quantity,” Nisar Ahmad, a dealer at Sehyar, Jamalata here said.
Nisar explained that cow skin finds use in shoe industry, while that of buffaloes is used for making upholstery and in car interiors.
Jamalata, falling in old city’s Nawakadal area, has traditionally been the hub of Valley’s dealers of raw skin and hide.
The dealers said the ban would cost them a collective 30,000 bovine hides a month and the revenue generated from it. The immediate consequences may even be worse, they said.
“We used to collect about one lakh hides (of bovine animals) on Eid-ul-Zuha. But we may not get any of it this Eid, which is only a fortnight away,” they said.
In the recent past, beef consumption has increased in Valley including in Srinagar, where its demand is mostly for commercial purposes.
The hides are, however, supplied mostly from villages, Muhammad Shafi, assistant to one of the dealers, said.
The ban, according to the dealers, has come when they were already suffering losses due to decrease in the demand for hides.
A sheep hide, they said, is priced Rs 250 lower than the last year.
“It is due to low demand for leather in Europe and other western countries,” they said.
“India’s leather sector is also going through a bad phases. Even the government’s ‘Make in India’ plan couldn’t bring leather manufacturers across India any relief,” they said.