Friday December 08, 2023

Declare cotton emergency: LCCI

By Our Correspondent
February 12, 2021

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the government to declare a cotton emergency in the agriculture sector, as a historic fall in cotton production has started affecting the economic chain, a statement said on Thursday.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan, and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that catastrophe-like situation in cotton production has severely impacted textiles, directly or indirectly associated with other industries, ginners, and growers.

During a meeting, LCCI Executive Committee Member Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi briefed the office-bearers about the ongoing cotton situation, it added.

The cotton production in the country is consistently witnessing a decline since 2017/18 when it reached 11.9 million bales. The cotton production in 2018/19 declined 17.5 percent to 9.8 million bales, the LCCI office-bearers said, adding that in 2019/20, the cotton production declined 6.9 percent to 9.18 million bales.

Before the decline, cotton production touched a peak of 13.96 million bales in 2014/15.

They said the steep decline in cotton production and yield is impacting the textile exports of Pakistan, which declined from $13.58 billion in 2018/19 to $12.78 billion in 2019/20.

Even in the first six months of the current fiscal year (July-December 2020), the textile exports stood at $6.62 billion, compared with $6.82 billion in (July-December 2019).

The cotton import bill has also escalated in recent times due to the decline in cotton production.

The LCCI officials said imports of raw cotton went up to $1.34 billion in 2019/20 from $1.18 billion in 2018/19.

They urged the government to take measures on war footings to control the situation, as the entire economy would be dwindling if cotton production slips further. They suggested the government for getting Chinese assistance if required.