Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz, Group Leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz, Central Vice Chairman APTMA and Chairman Pakistan Cotton Forum Seth Akbar, Chairman APTMA Punjab Ahsan Bashir and Chairman APTMA Sindh Yasin Siddique, in their separate messages, have reposed full confidence in the abilities of Shahzad Ali Khan as Vice Chairman PCCC and expressed the hope that he would leave no stone unturned in stimulating the dead horse of cotton research in Pakistan. India has already made miracles by enhancing cotton production from 12 million bales to 30 million bales. Pakistan is yet lagging behind due to a fragile front of cotton research.
Shahzad Ali Khan is a senior APTMA member, heading a number of APTMA committees to resolve the problems of textile industry. Particularly, efforts of Shahzad Ali Khan as head of energy committee can be written in golden words for his tireless efforts in winning the case of APTMA in government quarters.
It may be noted that the government has finally adopted the recommendations of APTMA and reconstituted the PCCC for improving cotton research and development in order to increase productivity from an average 700kg per acre to 1,200kg ahead.
The reconstituted committee will be chaired by the Federal Textile Minister, by virtue of his office, but all authority vested with his deputy Shahzad Ali Khan, nominated by the APTMA. It is also worth noting that APTMA agreed to raise cotton cess from Rs20 per bale to Rs50 per bale provided that the private sector is allowed to lead the PCCC from the front. The body would also collect more funds required for undertaking research projects and paying market-based salaries to the scientists involved in research.
APTMA advanced the proposal for reconstituting the committee with greater representation of the private sector stakeholders by more than one and a half years ago. The 25-member reconstituted PCCC will be dominated by 17 members representing the country’s textile industry, ginners, farmers and Karachi Cotton Association.
According to the notification, Shahzad Ali Khan from APTMA would head the day to day affairs of the PCCC as Vice President. Besides, five more APTMA members would be part of the committee representing each province in the country. Also, three members each from Farmers Associate Pakistan, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association and Karachi Cotton Association would also be part of the reconstituted PCCC.
The committee will chalk out a detailed roadmap on cotton research, a leap forward in cotton production and rehabilitation of organizational structure of the cotton research scientists in the country.
APTMA Group Leader Gohar Ejaz has been advocating for larger presence for private sector in the PCCC since day one for judicial use of the cotton cess funds for developing research to increase per acre yield of the fibre in view of its growing demand by the domestic spinning industry. The prime objective of this public private partnership, being recommended by the APTMA and adopted by the President Asif Ali Zardari, is to turn the cotton research committee into a centre of excellence.
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