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'Cotton crop collapse a threat to Pakistan's economy'
Dec '15
A Pakistani business leader has sound an alarm over reduced cotton output that could threaten the livelihoods of millions of farmers and the country's largest textile industry, according to newspaper reports.

“The cotton output has been estimated to remain under 10 million bales as around 40 per cent crop has been damaged in Punjab only, “said Mian Shahid, Chairman of the United International Group.

He said that government should immediately probe the failure through an independent commission and fix the responsibility. Much of the cotton crop was destroyed in floods, forcing Pakistan to import a huge quantity from India.

At the same time, textile industry that has laid off two hundred thousand workers in last two years in Punjab due to unfavourable conditions must be saved from adverse effects.

He said that Rs 14 trillion textile industry responsible for 57 per cent of total national exports cannot be left alone as this sector was already reeling under energy crisis, taxation and unfavourable policies.

Mian Shahid said that the textile millers are awaiting refunds to the tune of one trillion and ten billion rupees since long which should be paid immediately.

He demanded that the Government must provide enabling environment to the whole textile chain and push value addition so that it continue to provide jobs to million and earn foreign exchange. (SH)

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