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KARACHI: The local cotton market stable on Saturday. Market sources told that trading volume was low.

Dr. Jassu Mal T. Leemani, chairman of the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), has stressed for the revival of the Cotton economy for the prosperity of all stakeholder as well as the country. He was addressing a hurriedly called Press Conference along with Haji Muhammad Akram, Former Vice Chairmen Suhail Mehmood Haral, Mehr Muhamad Ashraf Mahar, Ch. Waheed Arshad, Rao Sadaruddin, Mian Fazal Elahi Sheikh, Ex-President MCCI, Khawaja Muhammad Arshad, and Asif Khalil said that at a press conference in Multan.

He suggested that interest-free loan be given to cotton growers besides providing certified, well germinated, heat resistant hybrid seed, cheaper electricity, original pesticides and other inputs, the prohibition of all crops in Core cotton areas strictly implement the Cotton Control Act(CCA).

He further proposed that the Support Price of raw-cotton(Phutti) must be announced immediately to bring maximum area under cotton crop but it should not be less than Rs.5000/- per maund. and a high powered cotton Control Board (CCB)headed by Prime Minister be constituted to resolve the problems of all stakeholders besides achieving the target of 20 million bales of cotton.

He demanded the withdrawal of 10 % sales tax, withholding tax on the sale of cotton to attract alternate buyers.Dr.Jassu Mal said that a revolution can be brought in the cotton economy by spending huge funds equal to foreign exchange wasted on the import of cotton, sugar and wheat. He said that the anti-cotton lobby managed to get reject the summary of support price for Phutti twice.Now Prime Minister would have to use his influence and veto powers to save the cotton economy. He said

“Cotton cultivation [in area] has declined by 35% since 2014-15 because farmers have shifted to sugar cane from cotton because of higher government support prices,” he added, saying bad weather conditions and lack of certified seeds had also contributed to the decline.

“The country had achieved the highest output of 15 million bales in 2014-15 but since then production is on the decline which forces the country to import cotton to meet domestic textile sector’s requirement,” Leemani said.Cotton is also the lifeline of Pakistan’s textile industry, which accounts for more than half of the country’s exports.“The import of the cotton and related products are expected to cost around $3 billion,” he said.

“Out of 1,200 ginning factories, only around 500 are operational, that also at less than half of the production capacity,” PCGA’s Leemani said. “For the revival of the cotton sector we demand establishment of a cotton control board and cotton zoning where other crops should be banned.”

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that Pakistan’s imports of raw cotton increased by 512 percent to $532 million in the first six months of the current fiscal year. The country imported $880 million worth of raw cotton during the last fiscal year, which was 14.67 percent higher than the previous year. Pakistani central bank data shows cotton cultivation dropped by 11.9% in the current fiscal year to 2.2 million hectares, the lowest since fiscal year 1982. The cotton crop suffered due to exceptionally heavy monsoon rains and pest attacks, according to the central bank.

Due to the shortage, the price of cotton in the local market has increased substantially after almost nine years.“The spot rates of cotton are hovering around Rs 11,000 per bale (40 Kg) which is close to the all-time high of Rs 14,000 recorded back in 2010-11,” PCGA Chairman said. “The international market is also tight due to short supply.”

Ginners said declining cotton output had closed down more than 60 percent of ginning factories across Pakistan, forcing thousands out of jobs. The livelihoods of around 1.5 million farmers are directly associated with cotton harvesting in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lesco Ch Muhammad Amin has assured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir that Lesco will ensure that all industry in general and export industry in particular gets electricity supply without any interruptions or power fluctuations.

He said this while talking to Aptma delegation led by association Chairman Abdul Rahim Nasir. Aamir Sheikh, Senior Vice Chairman, Aptma Punjab and Mohammad Raza Baqir, Secretary General and Executive Director Aptma were also included.

Rahim Nasir apprised Lesco management that the present capping of 5MW for B3 industrial consumers and requirement for separate grid connection for load beyond 5MW is obstructing further investment. Even meagre additional load of 500kW to 1MW entails heavy investment and financial cost.

Naseem told that cotton production decline by 34.15 % according to the report released by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association on January 15.

Naseem told that 1200 bales of Rohri, 800 bales of Saleh Pat were sold at Rs 10,350 per maund, 418 bales of Noor Pur Nuranga were sold at Rs 11,300, 1400 bales of Haroonabad, 1000 bales of Fort Abbas, 800 bales of Rahim Yar Khan, 400 bales of Sadiqabad, 200 bales of Khanewal were sold at Rs 11,000, 200 bales of Shujabad were sold at Rs 10,800, 400 bales of Multan, 400 bales of Kabeer Wala were sold at Rs 10,700 and 800 bales of Faqeer Wali were sold at Rs 10,500.

Naseem also told that rate of cotton in Sindh was in between Rs 10,000 to Rs 10,700 per maund. The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 10,200 to Rs 11,000 per maund. He also told that Phutti of Sindh was sold in between Rs 3800 to Rs 5000 per 40 kg. The rate of Phutti in Punjab is in between Rs 4000 to Rs 5500 per 40 Kg.

The rate of Banola in Sindh was in between Rs 1600 to Rs 2000 while the price of Banola in Punjab was in between Rs 1800 to Rs 2250. The rate of cotton in Balochistan is Rs 10,000 per maund.

The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 10,800 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 191 per Kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021