President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that the largest export sector of textiles is facing serious problems that must be noticed and resolved. The cotton production is declining since last five years while the output has reduced from 812 kg per hectare in 2012 to 550 kg per hectare.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that 22 percent fall in cotton production over the last five years has emerged as a threat to GDP, exports and the textile sector.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the textile sector will need five million bales during the current year which will cost billions of dollars, therefore, the government should intervene to improve cotton production.
The former minister noted that ignoring the cotton sector will further damage it, therefore, the government should try to lure growers towards cotton to improve the area under cultivation and per acre yield, issue of fake insecticides, costly fertilizer, lack of research and substandard seeds.
He said that growers can again opt for cotton if they get the fruit of their labour which will also save foreign exchange in billions.
The business leader noted that the facility of zero-rating should be restored for the export sector, the energy tariff should be revised and the IMF condition of full cost recovery should not be tackled through frequent hike in electricity prices.
He said that like all other export industries, the textile industry is also facing serious liquidity crunch due to non-payment of refunds which have resulted in missed export commitments.
The interest rates have jumped from 5.75 percent to 13.25 percent which has damaged the expansion plans in the industrial sector and hit investment decisions.
He said that interest rates should be reduced to single-digit while the energy package announced for the export sector should be extended for two years.