Row over APTMA's demand to ban cotton export to India
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association's (APTMA) demand to ban exports of raw cotton to India has sparked a row in both countries.
The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) locked horns with the APTMA saying that any decision to ban export of raw cotton would negate the declared policy of free trading in cotton being followed successfully since the last 20 years.
In a statement, the KCA said it had always advocated free trading policy in cotton such as free export and import of cotton without any quantitative and qualitative restrictions to ensure international price of cotton to the Pakistani growers and provide a level-playing field to all sectors.
The Association urged the government not to ban export of raw cotton on the demand of just one sector of cotton trade (in this case the APTMA) and should continue the well-established policy of free trading in cotton.
Across the border, the APTMA's demand has riled the Cotton Association of India (CAI) which described it as something against the principle of free trade.
The CAI said if the APTMA was actually interested in eliminating import duty on cotton, it should directly address the problem instead of using a smokescreen of cotton export from Pakistan to India.
“Pakistan has imported over 20 lakh bales of cotton this year from India. This happened at a time when Pakistan was in the need of cotton because of the failure of its own crop. It is now unfortunate that when India is buying small quantity of Pakistani cotton because of tight supply of cotton at the end of the season. Pakistani mills are becoming short-sighted and proposing such extreme measures.” said Dhiren N Sheth, president of CAI.
He warned of possible repercussions if the APTMA's demand for a ban is implemented.
“One can imagine the serious repercussions on the cotton trade and textile sectors of both India and Pakistan in case this results in similar measures from India. It is necessary that both the government and trade channels in India work in close unison and nip this problem in the bud,” he said.
Earlier this month, the APTMA had said that the decision to impose regulatory duty on import of cotton from India through the Wagha Border was the outcome of false data and non-professional approach of Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research.
While rejecting the recommendation of the committee, APTMA Chairman Tariq Saud said in a statement that the ginners have not more than 100,000 bales of cotton, which they will trade off before the arrival of the new crop.
He said the failure of local cotton crop by about 35 per cent has put extra burden on the industry to import more than 4.5 million bales of cotton to meet the consumption requirement of the spinning industry. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India