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APTMA Chairman Demands Immediate Redressal of Textile Industry Issues

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LAHORE– All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Dr Amanullah Kassim Machiara has urged the government to remove import duty on cotton, as the industry would have to spend $1.5 billion on import of 5.5 million bales due to a 35 percent production shortage this year.

He was addressing a press conference along with APTMA Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir at the APTMA Punjab office on Tuesday.

He said the quality of locally produced cotton has also deteriorated as compared to other cotton-producing countries. The imposition of duty with heavy incidental impact for the entire value chain meant to produce goods meant for exports, he stressed.

He said it is an irony that the government’s crop estimates are always on the higher side, which are seldom proved true. This year again, he said, the initial estimate of 15 million bales was suddenly revised to 10 million bales, which is now apprehended to be around 9.5 million bales, resultantly causing a shortage of 5.5 million bales.

He said the industry would have no option but o procure cotton from the international sources while incurring extra cost in terms of freight charges.

According to him, Pakistan is 3rd largest producer of denim and it is far better in quality than its immediate competitors.

APTMA chairman Dr Amanullah Kassim Machiara

While listing down the reasons of low productivity, he said, poor research on seed, adulterated pesticides and encroachment of sugarcane of cotton growing areas are prime reasons for it.

While urging to encourage the production of new GMO varieties, he said APTMA was set to launch research work on cottonseed. He has also questioned the performance Pakistan Central Cotton Committee on cotton research.

He lamented that Pakistan has become a net importer of cotton today while it was a cotton exporting country once.

He has also urged the government to release refunds of exporters without further delay, as the exporters on account of sales tax and duty drawback without further delay, as the industry was facing a liquidity crunch at present and banks are not willing to increase limits of the industry, as there is a strident increase of liquidity requirement due to imposition of sales tax and devaluation.

He said the stuck up refunds have added fuel to the fire.

Also, he has urged the government to resolve the CNIC issue with small traders so that sales in the domestic commerce should pick up.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA Punjab Adil Bashir said duty-free import be immediately allowed as both contamination-free and large-staple cotton are not produced locally to meet production Programme of the industry.— PRESS RELEASE