Pak Senate body urges duty on cotton imports from India
Pakistan's Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research on Wednesday recommended the imposition of Regulatory Duty (RD) on the import of cotton bales from India. The committee, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, observed that import of cotton lint from India via Wagha border despite sufficient stock in the country would adversely affect cotton growers.
The committee urged the Finance Ministry to direct Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to impose RD on import of cotton from India, Pakistani newspapers have reported. A senior official of Ministry of Commerce informed the committee that presently approximately 400,000 cotton bales are available in the country.
Shah said that arrival of new cotton crop in the market has already started therefore import of cotton from India will substantially add to the existing cotton stock. Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah informed the committee that Pakistan is importing extra long staple cotton from the US and some other countries and wondered why the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) is urging for import of cotton from India.
He said Pakistan's cotton acreage has declined by 12.7 per cent but in Punjab the acreage was 14 per cent short of the target. He claimed that the APTMA's imports through land routes caused a loss of Rs 22 billion to Pakistani farmers last year.
The APTMA also came under fire from Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Bosan who said that the Association was instrumental in shifting the subject of cotton to the Ministry of Textile, which is not capable of handling the issues of agriculture and growers.
Bosan said the APTMA was importing cotton from India claiming that it was extra-long staple, but that kind of cotton is not grown by India and only the US and African countries grow that variety.
Pakistan began importing cotton from India earlier this year after rains and pests destroyed much of its crop. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India