MULTAN: Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has appreciated the role of the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in halting cotton imports through Wagah, Torkham and Chaman borders.
In a statement, PCGA leaders, including its chairman Haji Muhammad Akram, said the government should strictly monitor cotton imports at seaports and should not allow offloading of contaminated and disease-infested varieties.
They emphasised that the policies favouring the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association at the cost of overall agriculture sector were not acceptable to the ginners and growers.
India had been a major beneficiary of duty-free import of cotton yarn by Pakistan for about four years, which had badly hit the domestic industry and agriculture sector under a “well-planned conspiracy”, they said.
Akram cautioned that there would be a huge loss of cash crops if the farmers opted for cultivating other profit-yielding crops due to bad returns.
He pointed out that exemption from customs and regulatory duties and sales tax may hit the domestic industry hard as it would drive down the demand for cotton produced in the country.
Indian cotton represents the largest chunk of increased cotton imports since the neighbouring country provides huge subsidies in the form of duty drawback, interest rate concessions and infrastructure schemes for its cotton industry.
“Under these circumstances, the import of cotton will be tantamount to slaughtering the growers and ginners who have just heaved a sigh of relief after a reasonable increase in cotton prices,” Akram remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2018.