The Pakistan food security ministry is seeking to take back control of the cotton department on the grounds that it has much relevance to the agricultural sector. Cotton was and agricultural crop and like other cash crops, its affairs must be handled by the food ministry for smooth coordination with provinces and implementation of policies. But the Ministry of Textile Industry has flatly rejected a proposal for handing over its cotton wing, stating that the department should remain associated with it.
According to sources, the Prime Minister Secretariat, after accepting the demand, as it is argued that performance of the department has deteriorated under the textile ministry and a major reason cited, among other factors, is a sharp fall of 35% in cotton production in the current season.
The food security ministry had been asked to prepare a summary and send it to the departments concerned. However, when the document reached the textile industry ministry for comments, it fiercely opposed the proposal.
A senior officer of the textile industry ministry said that they received the summary and returned it with comments; they reject the proposal.
He said that cotton had nothing to do with the food security ministry rather it was a cash crop and directly related to the textile industry.
The major argument of the textile industry ministry is that cotton affairs mostly fall within its purview as almost 80% to 90% of it is consumed by the textile industry and they have nothing to do with the food ministry.
The cotton department, which coordinates with provinces in policy matters relating to cultivation and other issues, was handed over to the textile ministry after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
Earlier, it was working under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture before the constitutional amendment, which led to devolution of the ministry to provinces and the department was given under supervision of the Ministry of Textile Industry.
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