President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that cotton sector which is playing very import part in the economy and providing jobs to millions should no more be ignored by revived immediately.
Cotton production is declining since last few years and the production for the current year will be eight million bales against the target of 15 million bales.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that China has reduced cotton imports from the US while the gap has been filled by Australia and Brazil while Pakistan has ignored it.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said unsold cotton stock worth billions is lying in the ginning factories which should be used or exported to bailout ginning sector from crisis which will enable them to pay dues to the farmers.
The former minister noted that coronavirus has many unemployed while real incomes have also declined which has reduced consumption of cotton, yarn, and garments while the price of cotton has gone down by 34 percent in three months.
The crisis has eroded the capacity of textile sector to pay ginners necessitating government’s intervention. The credit line for the ginning sector should be increased while the government should look into the issues hitting the cotton sector which include climate change, scarcity of water, high cost of inputs, substandard seed, and pesticides, costly urea, difficulties in obtaining loans, reduction in area under cultivation and primitive practices.
He said that the US and other countries have increased per acre yield by 100 percent since 1980 but nothing of the sort has been done in Pakistan. The government must reduce taxes on this sector and stop harassing investors by sending them notices and try to benefit from the experience of friendly countries like China, Uzbekistan, Brazil, and the US.