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LAHORE: Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industry Dr Gohar Ejaz says Punjab will witness bumper cotton crop this year.

Addressing a news conference along with chief minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi on World Cotton Day in Lahore on Saturday, he said eight million cotton bales are expected in this crop, and approximately three billion dollars will be saved in terms of foreign exchange.

The Minister said the government will fulfill all requirements of the business community. He urged the business community to achieve the exports target of 25 billion dollars from the textile sector.

Chairman APTMA North Kamran Arshad, Senior Vice Chairman Asad Shafi, former Chairman APTMA Syed Ali Ahsan, Secretary General Raza Baqir and other members were also present on the occasion.

Gohar said the on World Cotton Day he is happy to announce that province of Punjab had produced eight million bales. He also said that the province of Punjab had produced 3.3 million bales besides 1.6 million bales in the province of Sindh. He congratulated Chief Minister Punjab Syed Mohsin Naqvi, Chief Secretary Punjab and Secretary Agriculture Punjab for their dedicated work towards enhancing cotton production in the province. The country would save foreign exchange worth $3 billion with this increase in cotton production, he stressed.

According to him, Pakistan has become part of five major cotton producers in the world and all credit goes to Chief Minister Punjab to achieve this stature. He also announced Rs100 million funds for the Cotton Research Centre on behalf of APTMA, making it clear that APTMA would not fund salaries of the staff of research Centre.

He said APTMA will only provide funds for the research.

Gohar said this remarkable growth showcases the dedication and hard work of our farmers and the resilience of our cotton industry. He said the cotton production this year is estimated to be more than 100% compared to that of the last year. The cotton bales produced this year are likely to be more than 12 million which was five million in the past year, he expressed the hope and pointed out that the production of cotton increased by 71% annually.

The minister stated that the cotton bales delivered to factories till September 30 were more than five million. The arrival of cotton bales in Punjab reached 2.1 million with an increase of 34% while that in Sindh reached three million with an increase of 113%.

He pointed out that the production had dropped by 34% last year.

He said efforts are being made to ensure affordability as well as availability of regionally competitive tariff for the textile industry in Punjab. Either the cross subsidy would bring to an end for the industry or dedicated power supply from a power plant in Punjab would be ensured ahead, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Punjab Syed Mohsin Naqvi appreciated the Agriculture department for their hard work to revive cotton production in the province. He also expressed his special thanks to Pakistan Army for controlling the attack of white fly on the cotton crop, saying that a timely action avoided disaster to the standing crop in Punjab and Sindh.

According to him, revival of the research centre with the help of APTMA is underway. Already, he said, the Punjab government has rescinded seed approval once it is obtained from the Federal government.

He said the provincial minister for industry S. M. Tanveer was in Multan to mark the World Cotton Day.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA North Kamran Arshad thanked both the Federal Minister for Commerce and Chief Minister Punjab for reviving cotton production in the country and extended standing ovation to them along with the Association members.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Wajid Ali Oct 08, 2023 09:26pm
Government not support farmers. Farmers struggle and Allah bless.
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