Friday December 03, 2021

‘Pakistan not to allow duty-free cotton from India’

February 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will not allow import of duty-free cotton from India in order to bridge the shortfall in the local market, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said.

“The government holds no plan to allow import of cotton from India,” Dawood said while talking to journalists after the launch of Coca Cola’s socioeconomic report on Thursday night.

Pakistan’s cotton production fell 34 percent during the current fiscal year and the government left with no other option but to import cotton for meeting domestic requirements of the country.

Commerce adviser said the industry is demanding changes in duties and taxes for the textile sector but he ruled out any changes in duties and import of cotton from India to bridge shortfall. He hoped that country would have better cotton crop next year.

Responding to another question, he said the government would not restore zero rating for five major exports oriented sector in the next budget. Regarding trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian states, he said Afghanistan had offered preferential trade agreement (PTA). He said the PTA items of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan are dry fruits, agriculture produce as they have no industrial production.

“There are industrial projects for us like refrigerators, chemicals, motorcycles and several other products that can be exported to these countries,” he said. Transit trade agreement with Afghanistan had expired but the cabinet allowed extension in transit agreement for three months.

Dawood said there are three priority areas regarding trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian States. Firstly, there should be free movement of trucks. Secondly, it is transit trade. Thirdly, there should be preferential trade agreement.

About FTA with China, he said it was effective from January 1, 2020. But due to COVID-19 there had been no progress further on it as delegations from both sides were unable to visit. He said Pakistan and China would have to wait for one more year to make some progress on it.

“Pakistan is looking forward to expand the footprint of foreign companies in the country by creating effective policies which ensure ease of doing business. The goal is to expedite economic activities and facilitate the corporate sector as much as possible so more companies can establish strong presence locally,” Dawood said.

Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCI Pakistan) revealed its latest socio-economic impact report highlighted CCI Pakistan’s contribution to the national economy as well as the impact of its domestic social investments.

Some of the key highlights of the study revealed that the brand’s value chain had generated a percentage share of 1.95 percent of GDP, an injection of 1.74 million in the economy for every 1 million spent by CCI Pakistan, an annual tax contribution of Rs30 billion, additional Rs210,000 paid by the brand’s suppliers and vendors for every 1 million paid in taxes. The report’s findings reaffirm CCI Pakistan’s commitments as a responsible corporate citizen contributing towards the prosperity of the country. Moving forward, the company will continue to explore new avenues beneficial for the people of Pakistan as well as for the country.