ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan nodded to cross-border import of cotton yarn as the shortage of industrial input is feared to stymie recovery in textile exports.
Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood said the Prime Minister showed his concern on shortage and escalating cotton yarn prices in the country during a meeting.
“[He] instructed to take necessary measures, including cross border trade of cotton yarn, to keep the momentum of value-added exports,” Dawood wrote on Twitter.
The government is considering import of cotton from India to meet the local demands, according to media reports.
Cotton production came down to 5.5 million bales from as much as 15 million bales recoded annually in previous years, causing unstoppable rise in its prices.
Textile and clothing exports increased more than eight percent to $8.8 billion in the seven months of the current fiscal year. The growth pace can slow down amid the shortage of raw materials, according to traders who called for duty-free imports of yarn from any country, including India.
Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association expressed deep concern over the unavailability of cotton yarn and its price reaching to an all-time high. It asked the government to immediately allow duty-free import of yarn and cotton from India to save the textile industry from collapse
If export orders are not fulfilled on time, the business will adversely be affected, according to the association.
The association’s office bearers said a large number of export orders from China, Bangladesh and India were transferred to Pakistani exporters, which led to an increase in production activities. However, these days the cost has risen sharply due to non-availability of raw materials as per the demand of the textile industry and the high price of yarn in the local markets.
“If we do not manage to import raw materials from other countries, including India, then export orders that have been transferred to Pakistan will not be fulfilled,” the association said in a statement.
“This will tarnish Pakistan's image in the world and we will not get new orders.”
The government was demanded to immediately lift duties on yarns and cotton and allow duty free import. With imports from India, freight charges come down and it takes less time.
“Hence, the government should allow the import of yarn from India for continuing textile production without hampering and fulfillment of export orders, so that Pakistani exporters can be saved.”