Curbs on cotton exports opposed
PESHAWAR: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has opposed the idea of regulating cotton and cotton yarn exports and said it would prove counterproductive to the job intensive textile sector.
“The demand by a few to regulate the cotton and cotton yarn exports was totally unjustifiable and against the interest of the business community and thousands of workers associated with the textile manufacturing units,” Aptma Chairman Mohsin Aziz said at a press conference here on Friday.
Flanked by Aptma’s central vice-chairman Raza Kuli Khan Khattak, and the Association’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter chairman Mohammad Taimur Shah, Mr Aziz said the proposal had been put forth with mala fide intentions and was aimed at benefiting a few.
He said Pakistan’s cotton production had increased from 11.5 million bales to 12 million bales last year to around 14.5 million bales this year. The production, he added, would have touched 17 million bales in case recent flash flood in Sindh had not destroyed around 2.5 million bales.
He said the demand for regulating the cotton and cotton yarn exports by the Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF) and the Pakistan Bedwear/Knitwear Exporters Association (PBEA) in line with the Indian ban on its raw material exports would lend negative impact to the textile sector, which had taken a massive hit due to power outages and gas shortages in the recent months.
The demand, he added, was driven by the self-interest of the few, aiming to deprive the textile sector to benefit from the international market prices.
“Such elements,” Mr Aziz said “want to put curbs on exports and establish their control in order to depress prices of raw material in the domestic markets.”
Referring to ban on the cotton raw material by India, the Aptma chief said it was forced by the gradual decrease recorded by India in its cotton production, which, according to him, had slid from 33 million bales to 25 million bales. “In our case, cotton production has improved,” he added.
The government of India’s measure, he said, was meant to protect the local manufacturers. The measure, he added, had not proved successful in the case of India as, according to him, cotton production has not improved. Rather, it had further declined, Mr Aziz said.
The curbs by the Indian government, he said, had negatively impacted cotton growers, depriving them to have a fair share out of the economic boom.
Instead of asking for restrictions on the cotton and cotton yarn exports, the Aptma chief said the value-added cotton product manufacturers should put their house in order and they needed to revisit their strategy, desisting from making unjustifiable demands.
He demanded of the government to ensure uninterrupted power and gas supply, particularly in Punjab, to the textile sector in order to let it work to its full capacity and take advantage of the recently withdrawn restrictions on Pakistani products access to European markets.