Important economic issues: ministers are not on same page: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said Cabinet’s decision to turndown Economic Coordination Council’s move to allow the import of cotton and cotton yarn from India through land and sea routes has created uncertainty in the largest export earning sector of textiles.

The decision has attracted criticism from Industrial sector and raised questions about the future of textile industry and the flawed decision-making process of the government, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the development suggests that top government functionaries are not on the same page regarding issues of paramount importance.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the suggestion of Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzaq Dawood and textile sector to allow the import of cotton and yarn from India was according to the ground realities and national interests.

The latest development will support the stance of economic experts and opposition that government lacks ability and the will to reform the economy and their decision will encourage profiteers to increase prices which will contribute to the closure of many mills.

Exports orders will be compromised while foreign buyers will prefer other countries over Pakistan as they would not like to conduct business with a country facing a shortage of cotton and yarn as the local cotton production has reduced by 50 percent as compared to 2014-15.

Mian Zahid Hussain costly electricity and costly cotton is making business difficult as the freight cost via sea has already increased by 700 percent and delivery time has increased from 25 days to 105 days.

The price of cotton and yarn is increasing after the decision of the federal cabinet as the value-added sector has asked for imports from India or ban on the export of local cotton and yarn but none of the demand has been accepted.

Recently former finance minister Shaukat Tareen has also criticised the government for lack of economic direction and increasing the worth of the US dollar which added to the debt burden and damaged the economy, he said. 

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