APTMA Rejects Ban On Import Of Cotton From India
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) strongly rejects demand of the Senate Committee on National Food Security and Research to immediately stop the import of cotton lint from India. Tariq Saud Chairman, APTMA said that the observation of the committee that “the country’s agriculture economy would be ruined if the import of 0.5 million bales of cotton from India was not stopped as there is sufficient stock of cotton lint available with the Trading Corporation of Pakistan,” is baseless. He said that TCP officials has confirmed in the meeting held on 28th April 2016 under the Chairmanship of Secretary Commerce that only 75,900 bales of 2014-15 season balance stock available with TCP. The Chairman APTMA urged the Senate Committee that instead of suggesting any ban on cotton imports it should take up the matter of crop failure and concentrate on ways to prevent such failures from occurring again. He said the local industry would prefer to use Pakistani cotton over any other imported growths provided sufficient cotton is made available for the industry to run at full capacity. “At the moment, the requirement of the industry is 16 million bales whereas the local cotton production was less than 10 million bales”, he added. He raised the question that if cotton import will be banned who is going to fill the gap between 16 million bales requirement and 10 million bales availability. The Chairman APTMA said that the current year cotton crop as compared to the crop size of 2014-15 is already short by 34.32 percent or 5.103 million bales, therefore putting restriction on import of 0.5 million bales of lint cotton from India through Wagah border will not only add the problem of shortage of raw materials of spinning industry but would also compel a number of spinning units to close the production resulting in increase in unemployment and law and order situation. Tariq further said that the industry pays about 800 million rupees in the form of cotton cess which is meant for cotton research even though we are facing shortage of cotton in the country and about 25 percent of cotton consumption requirement is met by import. It is the duty of our cotton scientists in Pakistan Central Cotton Committee to introduce new varieties of cotton seeds to obtain maximum yield so that our consumption requirement is met by the local cotton, he added. He demanded the government to remove 3 percent custom duty and 5 percent sales tax on import of cotton and introduce high rate of duty and taxes on import of yarns and fabrics of cotton and synthetic fibers to save the domestic industry producing the above goods.