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FAISALABAD: PTEA’s Chairman Sohail Pasha urged the government for immediate lifting of ban on import of cotton from India. He said that we will have to import 1.5 million additional bales during the current year. He stressed that the government has to act promptly in this regard to avert a cotton crisis as according to estimates, 25 percent of cotton crop has been completely swept away during floods.

Cotton import from other countries like US, Brazil and Egypt is not only expensive but would also take one to two months to reach Pakistan. Whereas importing cotton from India would be far cheaper and would reach Pakistan within three to four days.

Supporting the idea of importing cotton from India, he said that prices of the commodity had declined over there in recent weeks so it will not affect our competitiveness, the government must allow raw cotton and vegetable import from India to deal with the prevailing situation, he stressed. This would also be better for the country’s balance of payments situation compared to importing from countries that were farther and had heavier logistics costs.

PTEA’s Chairman Sohail Pasha was of the view that ban on cross-border trade with India is hurting the crisis-hit country in the wake of floods which has caused scarcity of commodities and pushed up prices and textile exporters are forced to pay a higher price for raw materials.

He pointed out that country has seen a rapid recovery of exports since the removal of corona virus-related restrictions as its outbound shipments in recent months have actually risen faster. However, scarcity of basic raw material may shatter all the efforts and textile exports would fall. Reduced textile exports would worsen the situation for the already ailing and overburdened economy, he added.

Opening the cross-border trade would allow imports of agricultural crops from India so that our country’s food needs and also the industry’s agricultural input requirements could be met immediately and it would be possible within the shortest possible time at competitive rates. He government must accord immediate remedial measures as further delay will seize the industrialization, halt the export growth and lead to unmanageable level of unemployment. In order to overcome the scarcity of basic raw material, he demanded to allow cross-border import of cotton from India to ensure continuity in export growth.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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