The purpose of shifting tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar leather estate went in vain as the authorities concerned failed to make the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) functional, said speakers at a rountable on Tuesday.Stressing need for quick implementation of CETP, they said that the sector is not getting the benefit of the CETP and struggling hard in achieving the global standard in terms of compliance issue. Lack of preparedness of the tannery estate hurts the growth of the sector and environment as well.The speakers made the complaints at a roundtable programme styled ‘Prospect and Challenge of Leather and Leathergoods’ at EWMGL auditorium in city’s Bashundhara residential area.Organized by popular Bengali daily ‘Kaler Kantho’, state minister for finance and planning MA Mannan was present as chief guest while industries secretary Mohammad Abdullah was present as special guest at the programme.Presided over by Kaler Kantho editor Imdadul Haq Milon, the roundtable programme was also attended by The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and its 1st vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute Ali Ahmed, Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) President Md Saiful Islam, Bangladesh Hides and Skins Merchant Association President Mohammad Delwar Hossain, Bay Group Chairman Shamsur Rahman, Bengal Leather Complex Chairman Tipu Sultan, Orion Footwear Ltd CEO Ruhul Amin Molla, CPD Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem and BIDS Research Director Nazneen Ahmed. Speaking on the occasion, LFMEAB president Saiful Islam said that the target of achieving $5 billion export from leather sector by 2021 is not possible with the present trend of growth.Explaining the reasons, he said that purpose of tannery relocation brought no results as its CETP is yet to be functional and poor performance of country’s leading ports. “Compliance issue will be addressed after the full functioning of CETP in Savar leather estate. For smooth functioning of Chittagong port, it is needed to appoint international operator. If these two issues are addressed, I believe that the target will be achieved”, he said. Bay Group chairman Shamsur Rahman said that CETP has become the biggest problem on the way to of leather sector development and foreign buyers are reluctant to give order due to this compliance issues.He also senses a debacle of the tannery industry if the CETP does not function in earliest time.Finding effective management as the key problem, BFTE CEO Ali Ahmed said poor management is the main reason for CETP non-functional. It is also polluting river and air and should be addressed immediately.About the poor implementation of CETP at Savar Leather estate, industries secretary blamed the Chinese implementing company.“They have completed 75 percent of the total CETP work. We know it’s their fault, but we cannot cancel them at this stage which may bring another disorder. We are consistently putting pressure on the Chinese company for immediate completion of CETP”, said industries secretary.He also said that the leather sector is growing up and the government is going to formulate a policy for leather and leathergoods industry.State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said that he has taken the notes and will put forward all the messages to the authorities concerned.“Discussion among the stakeholders can bring solution of the existing problems”, he said.FBCCI president Shafiul Islam found coordination between the industries and commerce ministries as the key point for smooth growth of leather sector according to the roadmap given by government.Big companies around the world are coming to Bangladesh for sourcing leather and leather products and hope this sector will go long way.Stressing need for special focus on compliance issue, FBCCI vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim said that leather education should be included in academic curriculum from school to university.Among others, Kaler Kantho executive editor Mostofa Kamal, Apex Footwear senior general manager Atiqul Islam, leather engineering and technology institute of Dhaka University director Dr Aftab Ali Sheikh, environment department director Ziaul Haque, LFMEAB executive director Kazi Roushan Ara, Lotto Bangladesh Kazi Zamil Islam and Bangladesh Tanners Association president Shahin Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.