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KARACHI: The sluggish trend remained continued in the local cotton market on Monday. Market sources told that trading volume remained very low because textile sector is not taking interest in buying of cotton amid increasing threats of lock down during the third wave of coronavirus.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for a review of the GSP+ status granted to Pakistan in 2014 keeping in view the “alarming” increase in the use of blasphemy accusations in the country as well as rising number of online and offline attacks on journalists and civil society organisations, it emerged on Friday.

The resolution also calls on the Government of Pakistan to “unequivocally condemn” incitement to violence and discrimination against religious minorities in the country, and expresses “deep concern” at the prevailing anti-French sentiment in Pakistan.

Chairman Cotton Ginners Forum Ehsan ul Haq told that after the adoption of the resolution by European Parliament Pakistani textile industry was in a shock. He said that Pakistan’s 25 percent cotton export is to EU. He said that if the EU has taken back the GSP plus status from Pakistan it will have a severe impact on the economy of Pakistan.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that according to the fortnightly report of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association total arrival till May 3 is of 56,45,967 bales.

Naseem further told that Pakistan’s exports of textile and clothing rebounded in March mainly due to value-added sectors and posted a growth of 30.4 per cent from a year ago, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.

The export value of these sectors edged up to $1.355 billion in March from $1.039bn over the corresponding month of last year. Growth in exports of value-added sectors contributed to an increase in overall exports from the sectors.

In February, textile and clothing exports shrank 3.12pc on a year-on-year basis.

The July-March figures showed that growth in textile and clothing exports came from the value-added sector. The value of exports reached $11.35bn in the July-March period this year as against $10.41bn over the corresponding months of last year, showing a growth of 9.06pc.

Government must announce tangible steps in the upcoming federal budget including curtailment of fertilizer prices and tariff on tube wells - aimed at bringing down high prices of agriculture inputs said Vice President of Pakistan Businesses Forum and former chairman FPCCI Agriculture committee, Ahmad Jawad.

Unfolding the details with presser, he said even in last budget, federal government has not been able to announce any new initiative for the development of agriculture sector, which is backbone of national economy except allocated Rs 10 billion to fight with locust attack and adjust Rs 50bn agri package in the budget which was announced few months back.

The target of 2.8 percent for agriculture development in the fiscal year of 2020-21 was also on low side in an unusual time.

He said it’s time for an effective and workable horticulture and agriculture export policy, similar to the textile policy. He also seeks the government to support farmers in a substantial way for the purchase of machinery, fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs. “The leadership may formulate a sustainable agriculture policy to ensure food security in the country.”

As due to an alarming plunge in cotton production, Pakistan would need to import seven million bales worth $4 billion. He lamented that recently, cotton production of the country touched 30-year low in terms of volume. “Government must take practical steps to increase cotton production in the country,” he emphasized.

However in the budget proposals, Jawad proposed that the government may announce concrete package in the budget for the facilitation of horticulture industry as global trade crossed $200 billion. He said that the government should allocate funds to promote the hybrid seed industry in Pakistan under private-public partnership to increase per-acre productivity. “The world is focusing on the use of certified seed for enhancing agriculture productivity due to better profitability and international recognition.”

Jawad also demanded that funds for Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) may also allocated in the provincial budgets for farmers to the areas affected by natural disasters/ calamities, wide-spread diseases and unpredictable weather conditions in a transparent manner, through Sindh Bank, BOP and BOK and ZTBL.

The spot rate remained unchanged at Rs 11300 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 200 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021