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The leather industry has welcomed the Budget proposal to cut the minimum period of employment.

The new norms mandate 150 days as the minimum period of employment in the footwear and leather industry, as has been the case for the apparel sector. Earlier, it was 240 days.

The move is aimed at creating new employment opportunities, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

“The Centre has made these changes along with certain amendments to Employment Provident Fund Act to encourage employment of more women,” said Rafeeque M. Ahmed, president, All India Skin and Hide, Tanners and Merchants Association. “Earlier, this relaxation was available to the textile sector and the anomaly has been set right.”

Panaruna Aqeel, vice chairman, Council for Leather Exports, said, “The extension of 25% reduced corporate tax to [firms] having turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore in FY17 will be immensely beneficial to the leather and footwear industry as about 90% of the industry is concentrated in the MSME segment.”

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