Maharashtra: Govt Announces Loan Waiver For Leather Industry Corporation, Plans International-Standard Hub In Govandi

Maharashtra: Govt Announces Loan Waiver For Leather Industry Corporation, Plans International-Standard Hub In Govandi

In a recent Monsoon Session of the Legislative Council, BJP MLC Uma Khapre highlighted the urgent need to address the various demands of the Cobbler community within the state. The primary focus was on waiving all outstanding loans of the Leather Industry Corporation unconditionally and implementing further loans in a streamlined manner.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, July 03, 2024, 08:46 PM IST
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BJP MLC Uma Khapre | Facebook

Mumbai: In a recent Monsoon Session of the Legislative Council, BJP MLC Uma Khapre highlighted the urgent need to address the various demands of the Cobbler community within the state. The primary focus was on waiving all outstanding loans of the Leather Industry Corporation unconditionally and implementing further loans in a streamlined manner. Additionally, the establishment of an international-standard leather hub cluster and training center on two acres of land in Govandi was emphasized.

Khapare raised concerns about the delay in fulfilling the promises made to the cobbler community, particularly those discussed during a meeting with the Chief Minister in February. These included providing Pitch licenses and accident health insurance to gang workers at various municipal levels, setting up a modern leather hub cluster, a world-class sales center, and a hostel in Deonar.

Furthermore, the initiation of leather engineering degrees and other related courses, along with the immediate appointment of the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Tanners Welfare Commission, were among the key demands. Expressing disappointment over the lack of progress, Khapare questioned the reasons behind the delay in decision-making.

In response, Gulabrao Patil, Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation, acknowledged the long-standing demand for loan waivers and mentioned that a one-time settlement was being considered. "Since its establishment, the beneficiaries have been given loans. The demand to waive these loans has been persistent. We are exploring the possibility of a one-time settlement, but a final decision has yet to be made. A meeting was held on 12th February at Sahyadri Guest House in the presence of the Chief Minister to address these issues," Patil stated. He added, "This community possesses two acres of land in Deonar. Many of their demands have been met, and we are actively working on others."

BJP Group Leader Pravin Darekar highlighted the dire circumstances faced by the cobbler community. "The cobbler community is struggling to survive, making and repairing sandals. Mumbai, known as the financial capital of India, boasts big brands, yet the community responsible for sandal repairs faces significant challenges. People in Mumbai wear sandals worth one lakh rupees, and we cannot even ensure justice for their makers? Despite our speeches when introducing schemes, there is not a single proper sandal stall. A new scheme with higher-level training should be implemented for them. Their loan of 98 crores is not a substantial amount and can be waived easily," Darekar asserted.

BJP MLC Bhai Girkar echoed similar sentiments, pointing out the lack of proper stalls for cobblers in the city. "Not a single fiber stall has been allocated to any cobbler in the city. They have been working in the same place for 20-25 years, and sometimes the BMC removes their stalls, which is their only source of income. The government should ensure that they do not face any injustice. This is a deprived society," Girkar emphasized.

Minister Patil further acknowledged the plight of the cobbler community. "Earlier, these stalls were made of Metal Sheets, now we will provide good quality stalls to them. Additionally, an international-standard leather hub cluster and training centre would be set up on 2 acres of land in Govandi."

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