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LAHORE: The sluggish trend remained continued in the local market on Wednesday. Market sources told that due to the Ramaan the market volume remained very thin.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that as per tweet of Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood Mnistry of Commerce has moved the summary to ECC to withdraw customs duty on import of cotton yarns. Rmoval of duty on yarns to facilitate the Value-Added exporters. This will be notified with the approval of the cabinet.

Regulatory duty was already withdrawn in December, 2020 on the recommendation of Ministry of Commerce Value-Added manufacturers and exporters can import cotton yarns at 0% customs duty Naseem Usman also told that for the last ten years the estimates of cotton production fixed by Federal Committee on Agriculture were not achieved. Despite this years cotton production which is limited to around 56 lac and fifty thousand bales of (160 Kg) the FCA has fix the target of production of One crore 5 lac bales of (170 Kg) which is impossible to achieve in this difficult situation. Textile mills were facing difficulties in evolving a strategy for the next year.

While quoting chairman Cotton Ginners Forum Ahsan Ul Haq Naseem Usman told that for the last eight years cotton production remained less than one crore bales and during the current year the cotton production was lowest in the history of the country. However, like every year FCA has fix the target of production of one crore by ignoring the ground realities.

The textile exporters demanded enquiry under judicial commission to probe and unearth the cotton yarn crisis facts by executing detailed investigations and to carry out urgent Forensic Audit on the pattern of sugar crisis.

The demand came at a joint press conference of the Value Added Textile Sector Associations held at PHMA house.

Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum, Riaz Ahmed, Central Chairman, Tariq Munir, Chairman (SZ), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association. Shaikh Shafiq, Chief Coordinator & Ex-Central Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers & Exporter Association, Rafiq Godil Chairman and Kamran Chandna, Former Chairman, Pakistan Knitwear & Sweaters Exporters Association, Dr Shahzad Arshad, Chairman, Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparels Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Aamir Lari, Vice Chairman, Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan and Abdus Samad Shekhani, Chairman, Pakistan Cloth Merchants’ Association attended and many of them addressed the presser.

They said it is learned that approximately 2 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 forensic audit of cotton yarn crisis shall prove it many times bigger scam than the sugar scam.

The entire nation from the parliamentarians, Members from the National & Provincial Assemblies as well as the masses decried the sugar scandal and total cost of sugar produced in the country is of Rs320 billion while the silence over cotton yarn crises faced by Value-Added Textile Sector exporting Rs1,980 Billion worth is suspicious, Jawed Bilwani said.

The Government has closed its eyes wide shut over the hoarding of cotton yarn and cartelisation, which are actionable as per law under the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering & Hoarding Act 1977 and Competition Act of Pakistan 2010.

It appears that the Government has given complete liberty to Spinning Mills and Yarn Traders for monopoly, abusive dominance for exorbitant pricing and hoarding, he said.

They said internationally, prices of cotton have been decreased so do the prices of cotton yarn, however, in Pakistan the prices of cotton yarn have been exorbitantly high with increase in prices of cotton and cotton yarn but have not been reduced in line with the decrease in the global market. It seems that some elements in the Government are playing adversarial and negative role, in contrary to the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, to shatter the exports of Pakistan and put lethal blow over the Foreign Exchange earnings because something unusual always happens from the circles of the Government whenever the exports of Pakistan comes in take-off and incline mode.

The exporters demanded that the Government must immediately place a ban on export of cotton yarn from Pakistan or impose 10 percent duty on export of cotton yarn from Pakistan and Government also pave way to facilitate exporters to import cotton yarn safely from Central Asian Republics through land route as the sea route is taking prolong duration due to shortage of containers and vessels. Government must also play its role to include the Tajikistan in the Quadrilateral Transit Trade Agreement (QTTA) between Pakistan-China-Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan which facilitate the passage of goods and traffic as Uzbekistan sought Pakistan’s support. The import of cotton yarn from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan is also not convenient as due to security reasons and the Uzbek Exporters of yarn demand 100 percent advance payment for which local exporters need approval from the State Bank of Pakistan which is a lengthy process. Import of cotton yarn from Uzbekistan via land route will take hardly one week to reach Pakistan while the sea route will take months.

Meanwhile, Indian cotton prices slip on the back of slowing demand from textile industry due to COVID. According to Atul Ganatra, President Cotton Association of India they have seen cotton and yarn prices correct form high due to COVID related restrictions.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that the task force constituted by chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Dr Jassu Mal Limani called on zonal chief of Agriculture Development Bank Qurban Ali in Multan. He told him regarding disbursement of loans to cotton farmers on low interest rate. He also told that bank is providing loans to farmers having 12.5 acres of land on 2.5 % mark up after giving 10 % subsidy. He further told that bank is giving loans to small farmers amounting to Rs 50,000 to Rs 15 lac.

Naseem Usman said some media reports suggest that yarn prices have increased 7 to 10 per cent after refusal of import. Cotton’s rate in Sindh was in between Rs 10,200 to Rs 10400 per maund. The rate of Phutti in Sindh is in between Rs 4500 to Rs 5100 per 40 kg. The rate of cotton in Punjab is Rs 10,500 is 11, 000 per maund. The rate of Phutti in Punjab is in between RS 4,800 to Rs 6,000 per 40 kg.

Similarly, the rate of Banola in Sindh was in between Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000 while the price of Banola in Punjab was in between Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,250. The rate of Phutti of Dalbadin Balochistan is available at Rs 5900 to Rs 6,000 per 40 Kg.

The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 10,800 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 210 per Kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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