The recommendation of Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research to impose regulatory duty on import of cotton from India through Wagha Border has been strongly rejected by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) as the industry is facing acute shortage of cotton resulting in the local market flooded with the imported yarn and fabrics.
According to APTMA Chairman Tariq Saud, the recommendation of Senate Committee on National Food Security and Research is based on the false data provided to them, which has no basis. The Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar in his budget speech accepted that due to the failure of cotton crop by about 35 percent this year the growth rate has declined by about 0.5%.
The failure of local cotton crop by about 35 percent has placed extra burden on the industry to import more than 5 million bales of cotton to meet the consumption requirement of the spinning industry.
The decline in production of cotton in the country has not only affected the operations of basic textile industry, which is already suffering due to high cost of doing business and shortage of energy in the country but also resulted in surge in import of cotton yarn and Fabrics.
Due to high cost of doing business and other factors the domestic industry is unable to compete in the international market which can be confirmed from the fact that in the 11 months of the current financial year the imports of cotton yarn has almost doubled as compared with 2014-15.
Chairman APTMA said that India does not give any subsidy to their farmers on export of cotton to Pakistan. Further, India after independence has undertaken variety of Land Reforms including modern farming system whereas no Land Reforms and modern cotton farming technology have been introduced in Pakistan as yet. Land holdings in India are very small and cannot be compared with Pakistan.
The reason behind the enhancement in production of cotton crop in India is the introduction of modern technology and research which they are lacking here in Pakistan.
The Pakistan government need to reexamine/reorganize the Cotton Research Institutions as there is no justification of keeping the existing research centers/ institutes/ organizations because they have failed to come up with the expected results to meet the consumption requirement of the industry. The cotton research centers controlled by the government are presently in pathetic state and the cotton cess of Rs50/bale obtained from spinning industry is being wasted.
The government also need to provide incentives and better quality cotton seed to the growers traditionally cultivating cotton to produce more and more cotton instead of other crops.
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