President FPCCI Mian Anjum Nisar has said that the decision to import cotton from Afghanistan and Central Asia to bridge the shortfall is laudable and according to the national interests. Pakistan, once a major cotton exporter has now become a net importer of cotton and it will need at least five million bales in 2020 to keep the cotton industry running, he said.
All taxes and duties have been waived for the purpose which will result in losses in the revenue collection but it will boost exports, he said.
Mian Anjum Nisar said that the decision will be applicable from Jan 15 which will shield local farmers from competing with imported cotton in terms of price or quality.
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 said that export of value-added textiles in on the increase and the decision to import cotton have allayed concerns about any disruption due to the shortage of cotton.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that cotton crop is on the decline since years due to substandard seed, fake pesticides, the high price of inputs, water scarcity, climate change, fall in per acre yield and inclination of cotton farmers towards sugarcane.
The former minister said that government should chalk out a plan to improve cotton production to an extent that it can cater to the needs of the textile industry which will boost production, employment, and forex reserves.
He said that newly-elected President of the FPCCI Mian Ajum Nisar will try best to draw the attention of the government towards the plight of cotton growers and losses suffered by traders and industrialists.