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Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) Vice Chairman Akhtar Yunus has demanded a complete ban on export of cotton and cotton yarn.
He alleged, in a press statement, that the government had consistently been ignoring the demands of the value-added textile industry by allowing the unrestricted export of cotton yarn at lower than international prices.
He observed that if immediate steps were not taken to check the unrestricted and undervalued export of cotton yarn it would ruin the national economy as well as the value-added textile sector.
Akhtar Yunus claimed that one kg of cotton yarn export fetches $2.13 while one kg of export of garment $7.00, therefore, the PHMA had been vocal for the ban on the export of cotton yarn or imposition of 10 percent export duty.
Highlighting other adverse effects, he said almost over 0.4 million labour had been rendered unemployed with 0.25 million stitching machines and nearly between 5,000 and 6,000 knitting machines shutdown as a result of this unrestricted export of cotton yarn.
The PHMA official said a few years back the government encouraged export of cotton and cotton yarn to earn foreign exchange, but the present position of the foreign exchange reserves was quite comfortable.
In view of this, the government should now impose a complete ban on the export of cotton and cotton yarn, and concentrate more on the export of value-added textile products, he suggested.
Asking for tariff reduction, he complained that the country's value-added textile industry had to pay a lot of direct and indirect taxes, which left it uncompetitive in the international market.
Akhtar Yunus also pointed out that knitwears were among the highest value-added textile exports of the country, but the rising prices of cotton yarn in the local market were making their cost of production prohibitive.
In this perspective, he fervently appealed to the government to ban cotton and cotton yarn export forthwith to save the vitally important value-added export sector from the ruin.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2004

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