The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Ali Pervaiz has urged the government to immediately notify withdrawal of 4 percent Customs duty and 5 percent Sales tax and other non-tariff restrictions on import of cotton to enable the industry to meet its export commitments.
“Textile industry is in a difficult situation due to the prevalent cotton situation and warrants the Government to act swiftly and remove phytosanitary restrictions rather than waiting till 1st of January 2018 to do so,” he said, adding: Federal Textile Board has already recommended the same in its last meeting and it was already committed under PM Export Package in January 2017.” A shortage of raw material for industry would erode its viability leading to nosediving exports. The government should address the issue immediately, he added.
He pointed out that improvement in trade balance is linked to timely procurement of cotton from all available resources which demands withdrawal of unnecessary and unjust restrictions immediately. He stressed that there is no logic in importing yarn worth millions of US$, which is already surplus in the country and restricting import of cotton, which is short in the country.
One way restriction on raw material import would hurt the local industry,” he pinpointed. The industry can only survive if it is in a position to procure quality cotton, free from all types of contaminations at competitive rates. The poor quality cotton would expose the exporting industry to the risk of losing orders from the international buyers.
He said the viability of textile industry is already challenged in Punjab due to the high cost of doing business, particularly because of noncompetitive energy prices resulting into closure of around 30 percent industry. He expressed hope that the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Ministers and other relevant quarters would act swiftly and withdraw the restriction on import of cotton through Wagha border.