KARACHI: National Business Group Chairman and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain Tuesday said following the cotton crop collapse the government should allow duty-free import of cotton yarn to save the textile industry. The government should waive five percent customs duty and five percent regulatory duty on the import of yarn unless the new crop hit the market, he said.
Mian Zahid said that import of excessive quantities of cotton and yarn should not be allowed in the country to safeguard the rights of farmers, ginners and textile millers. He said that the area under cultivation for cotton is shrinking since 14 years while cotton output is also declining due to the apathy of the authorities.
The last crop of cotton failed adding to the miseries of millions of farmers and threatening the textile sector which is behind 60 percent exports while providing jobs to 40 percent industrial labour. Every step should be taken to provide relief to the textile sector as it will require around 14 million bales to keep their machines running on the back of unprecedented orders.
The import will hit the forex reserves and result in other problems but there is no way out, he said, adding that the textile sector is running on full capacity but the trade war between the US and China may not remain intense after the new US President takes over. Such a development can divert western importers again towards China which will leave the local textile sector high and dry for which a plan is needed, he demanded.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020