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Duty-free yarn imports demanded to save textile exports


March 3, 2021

KARACHI: Value-added textile exporters on Tuesday urged the government to allow duty-free import of cotton yarn to reverse downtrend in exports.

Addressing a news conference, representatives of Council of All Pakistan Textile Association and Pakistan Apparel Forum said they have been drawing the attention of the government, through appeals and press statements, towards unavailability and shortage of cotton yarn – which is the basic raw material – for last five months.

If cotton yarn’s duty-free import is not allowed, exporters will go for countrywide protests, they said without elaborating whether or not protest implies shutdown of factories.

Value-added textile contributes to around 62 percent in total exports, provides 42 percent urban employment particularly to female workforce, earns highest foreign exchange and supports approximately 40 allied industries.

Zubair Motiwala and Jawed Bilwani said 4.5 percent decrease in exports endorses the viewpoint of exporters that unavailability of cotton yarn would hurt the export orders, which will further be diverted to other competing countries if the cotton yarn is not made available in the required quantity.

Exports fell 4.5 percent year-on-year to $2 billion in February after maintaining the growth pace for five months.

They cautioned the government about the dire consequences of not allowing duty-free import of cotton yarn and not banning export of cotton yarn to save the exports, industries and employment.

The government has closed its eyes wide shut towards to looming cotton yarn crisis which is extremely deplorable and discriminatory conduct on part of the government, they said. Lack of cotton yarn simply means decline in value-added textile exports.

Decrease in cotton production has created a shortfall, while demand also increases as exporters have struggled hard to get maximum orders during the last six months.

Exporters also lamented that whenever the value added textile industry takes off with its full potential, some adverse thing happens and all the hard efforts of exporters are put at stake due to some anti-exports move from the government side. Disconnection of gas to captive power plants of export industries depicted a bleak picture of Pakistani exporters in eyes of foreign buyers worldwide and now the government's thoughtlessness towards not allowing duty free import of cotton yarn will push the export industries towards disaster.

Textile exporters are also highly perturbed over the dubious dealings of spinners who have taken advance payments with commitments to supply cotton yarn but have dishonored their commitment to supply cotton yarn. Yarn being supplied is also of sub-standard quality.