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Chairman APTMA blames India for negating spirit of SAARC
Jan '11
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Gohar Ejaz has blamed the Indian government for negating the spirit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARD) objectives by distorting the principle of free market mechanism on cotton trade.

He said the latest condition of registration for export of cotton by the Indian government has supplied the vehicle to the Indian cotton merchants to wriggle out of the contracts of one million cotton bales to Pakistan, tantamount to distortion in the regional trade. Banning cotton export by the Indian government appears an imprudent decision in the light of the fact that India is currently carrying a surplus of 5.5 million cotton bales, he added.

According to him, denial from the Indian merchants to ship cotton to Pakistan after the Indian government's intervention to the free market mechanism is not less than an 'engineered default' and dubious quota allocations to irrelevant persons, as reported in the Indian press, also hurts the financial interests of Indian cotton farmers at large. This situation is enough to draw a conclusion that why the Indian farmers have been opting for committing suicides in the past, he added.

Gohar feared that delay in shipment of cotton to Pakistan would have far reaching negative impact on regional trade. He said the ulterior motives of Indian policymakers are open to everyone now, trying to bail out Indian cotton merchants, who had contracted deals with Pakistani importers on low price, on the one hand and benefit the Indian textile industry on the other by shifting cost to the cotton farmers.

Chairman APTMA said the SAARC objectives clearly state that the member states would work to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potentials. He lamented that the latest distortion to free market mechanism by the Indian government on cotton trade suggests that India was not serious in honouring the SAARC spirit.

Chairman APTMA said the Indian merchants should honour the cotton deals with Pakistani exporters and the Indian government should ensure immediate shipment of cotton to Pakistan in the larger interest of bilateral trade of two neighbouring countries.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)

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