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KARACHI: Value-added textile sector associations on Tuesday asked the government to place an immediate ban on the cotton yarn export to ease the commodity crisis. They also proposed a 10 percent duty on the cotton yarn export, saying the proposition if implemented will help stem falling trend in apparel textiles export.

The associations also demanded of the government to permit a duty free import of cotton yarn from worldwide for at least next six months to arrest the commodity crisis that continues to hit the local market. The proposals and demands were placed by the representatives of different apparel textiles associations to Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood during a meeting held on Tuesday virtually through internet.

Globally, the prices of cotton have decreased but the commodity is still costlier in Pakistan. Announcement of ECC proposal to allow import of cotton yarn from India had temporarily helped reduce the cotton yarn prices in the local market, but the cancellation of trade with the neighboring nation again spurred the commodity rates to the higher levels, they said.

They demanded of the government to open an immediate forensic audit of local cotton yarn producers, similar on the pattern of sugar probe.

“It is learned that approximately two million bales have been sold without sales tax and invoices in the local market, in order to identify the black-sheep and culprits behind the yarn crisis,” the associations asserted.

The value added textile exporters are facing jeopardy and financial hardships as their cost of manufacturing has outgrown because the dollar depreciation against Pak rupee from 164 to 153 and increase in prices of cotton yarn more than 40 percent and 700 percent increase in sea freight charges, they said.

Country is facing approximately 40 percent low cotton crop, which is the lowest quantity over the past three decades, they said adding that “therefore, the government must devise most urgent mechanism and policy to increase cotton produce as the cotton cultivation period is started in the country.”

They said the government should also help facilitate apparel makers to import cotton yarn from Central Asian Republics through land route via Afghanistan as the sea route is taking a long duration due to shortage of containers and vessels.

It will help bring a positive impact for textile export of Pakistan to reach at the level of Bangladesh textile within next few years, they said. They also requested to the adviser to speed up the release of payments of DLTL / DDT claims to support the textile export industry and demanded rates of gas (RLNG) should be same for new industrial units around the country.

Those attended the online meeting included: Jawed Bilwani, chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum, Riaz Ahmed central chairman, Faisal Mehboob Shaikh senior vice chairman, Tariq Munir vice chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Mian Farrukh Iqbal senior vice chairman, PHMA Northern Zone, Ch Salamat Ali ex-central chairman, Syed Zia Alamdar ex-chairman, Kashif Zia, ex-chairman PHMA, Ijaz Khokhar chief coordinator & ex-central chairman Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers & Exporter Association, Aamir Lari vice chairman, Haroon Shamsi ex-chairman Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan, Eng Bilal Jamil senior vice chairman, Arif Malik ex-chairman All Pakistan Bedsheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association, Waheed Khaliq Ramay of Power Looms Owners Association and Engr Hafiz Ihtasham Javed president Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Responding to the demands and suggestions of textile exporters, Razak Dawood assured them of a support. The concerned ministry will take all decisions in a consultation with the stakeholder associations, he added.

He noted the suggestions and demands of textile exporters to allow duty free import of cotton yarn, to place ban on export of cotton yarn or impose 10 percent duty on export of cotton yarn.

He said the commerce ministry has taken a serious notice of the situation and will revert back in next few days, according to the associations attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021