RS passes Footwear Design & Development Institute Bill

Raj Kamal Rao

Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017  with voice vote.  The bill makes provisions to establish Footwear Design and Development Institute as an institution of national importance to provide skill training youth.

Currently, there are 12 campuses under the Institute. Seven campuses including Kolkata and Chennai are fully functional, and five more will come up soon.

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking in Rajya Sabha

Commerce
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking in Rajya Sabha

As per the Bill, the functions of the institute include developing and conducting courses and research related to footwear and leather products’ design and development and working as a national resource centre for curriculum development, training and skill development in the leather sector.

Speaking on the bill, opposition members raised the issue of cow vigilantism has affected the leather industry.

Some members also demanded that more such institutes be set up across the country and ensure SC/ST reservation in them.

Ram-Gopal-Yadav

Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav speaking in Rajya Sabha

Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav raised the issue of cattle slaughter rules and said that that leather industry is badly affected.

“Where will leather come when cattle transport is affected, slaughter houses are being shut and tanneries are closed down…your policies are self-contradictory,” Ram Gopal Yadav said.

MV Rajeev Gowda, Congress Member in the Rajya Sabha

MV Rajeev Gowda, Congress Member in the Rajya Sabha

Congresses’ MP M.V. Rajeev Gowda said that over 3600 students were affected because the House couldn’t pass the Bill during the last session of Parliament.  He has urged the government to provide high quality training to students.

CPI (M) member C.P. Narayanan asked the government to control water pollution in leather industries.

“Leather industry is a major cause of water pollution and the Bill should ensure that pollution is controlled. He also says people who are traditionally involved in leather industry should not be neglected,” he said.

Replying to MPs queries Sitaraman said that government is only closing down illegal slaughterhouses.

“We are only closing down illegal slaughterhouses. The legal slaughterhouses are still functioning,” she says. There is no contradiction here. We are for regulated leather industry,” she said.

She also said the institute will be of national importance and reputed institutes from UK, Italy and Germany besides The Czech Republic were helping to prepare its curriculum.