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KARACHI: The garments and home textile sectors urged the federal government to allow a duty-free import of cotton and its yarn from India, Uzbekistan and Turkey through land routes since local market has run out of the input commodities.

In a letter, also made available to Business Recorder on Friday, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) sought help from Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister for the struggling apparel textile exporters.

Subject of the letter says that the PHMA wants permission for the duty-free import of cotton and its yarn from India, Uzbekistan and Turkey through roads and railways.

“Cotton yarn prices have been increased by approximately 40 percent to 70 percent (for different yarn counts 20/s, 30/s etc) and even on this exorbitant price cotton yarn is not available,” according to the letter undersigned by Chief Coordinator, PHMA Muhammad Javed Bilwani.

The available cotton yarn is of a substandard quality that further forced the exporters to hold up signing fresh deals for global markets, the letter says.

“The situation has also compelled the exporters not to take further new orders and for the reason such export orders meant for Pakistan shall be diverted to other regional countries,” it adds.

Freight charges of the sea trade have also soared very high by increased approximately 700 percent with shortages of cargo containers and vessels that made the shipment delivery time from 45 days to 90 days, it points out.

“Therefore, the government must support and facilitate the value-added garment and home textile exporters in the growing crisis of unavailability of vessels and containers on war footing basis,” the PHMA says in the letter.

It suggests an effective way to deal with the crisis by importing the input commodity through “the shortest possible land routes to import cotton yarn are from India, Uzbekistan and Turkey” to help augment manufacturing and export.

“The estimated time for ECO freight train to travel from Islamabad to Turkey is 10 days, it says that transportation span by road from Pakistan to Turkey is approximately 72 hours and Uzbekistan 48 hours.

The country’s textile sector contributes more than 60 percent share to the total national exports, earns highest foreign exchange and provides huge employment.

“Therefore, cotton and its yarn being the major raw material of the value-added textile export must be allowed from India at par with Medicine which is already allowed to be imported from Wagah border,” it requests.

Similarly, the letter says, a duty free import of cotton and its yarn should also be allowed and facilitated from Uzbekistan and Turkey through land routes.

“We can give a detailed presentation in this regard if you may kindly arrange a meeting with the prime minister and cabinet members particularly who oppose our suggestion to import cotton and cotton yarn from India,” it says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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