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KARACHI: Rice exporters have strongly opposed a ban on rice cultivation in the various districts of Sindh province. Chela Ram Kewlani Chairman, Haseeb Ali Khan Senior Vice Chairman, Habibur Rehaman, Vice Chairman and Managing Committee Members of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) in an urgent meeting held on Wednesday strongly opposed the decision of Sindh Government regarding ban on rice cultivation in various districts of Sindh Province.

Chela Ram said that nowadays, the country was facing a severe economic crisis and direly needed foreign exchange to avoid the default and support the country’s economy. However, on the other side the government policies are discouraging exports.

REAP urges govt to help it achieve $5bn rice exports

He said that rice was the second largest export commodity and earner of over $2.5 billion valuable foreign exchange annually for the country. Further, rice was a surplus crop for export purposes, as it was not the mass staple diet, he added. “We are already facing crop shortage this year and due to this ban, it is very difficult to achieve our export target of over $2 billion,” he mentioned.

Chela Ram has appealed President of Pakistan Arif Alvi, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Ministers for Commerce Naveed Qamar and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to review this decision, so as to get maximum rice crop for export purpose and fetch the much-needed foreign exchange for the country. He has requested the Sindh Government that Shaheed Benazirabad, Tando Muhammad Khan and Sukkur were mainly rice growing areas and there was no justification to ban rice cultivation in those areas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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