Value-added textile sector seeks permission to import Indian cotton
KARACHI: The value-added textile sector on Friday urged the government to allow import of cotton and cotton yarn from India and other countries through road, a statement said.
The textile sector contributes more than 60 per cent share in the total national exports, earns highest foreign exchange and provides huge employment and, as such, cotton and cotton yarn are the major raw materials of the value-added textile exports.
“The import of cotton and cotton yarn must be allowed from India at par with medicines, which is already allowed to be imported from [the] Wagah Border,” said Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, chief coordinator and former central chairman of the value-added textile association in a letter to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
He also said similarly, duty-free import of cotton and cotton yarn should also be allowed and facilitated from Uzbekistan and Turkey through land routes.
The value-added garment and home textile exporters are facing the severest-ever shortage of cotton yarn, which is the basic raw material. Cotton yarn prices have been increased by approximately 40 per cent to 70 per cent (for different yarn counts 20/s, 30/s, etc) and even at this exorbitant price cotton yarn is not available, and wherever it is available it is of substandard quality.
The situation has also compelled the exporters not to take further new orders, and for that reason, such export orders meant for Pakistan would be diverted to other regional countries.
The sea freights are gone very high and increased approximately 700 per cent and there is also an acute shortage of containers/vessels, which has multiplied the delivery time from 45 days to 90 days.
Therefore, the government must support and facilitate the value-added garment and home textile exporters in the growing crisis of unavailability of vessels and containers on war footings.
In view of the existing scenario, it is highly important to explore and use the shortest possible routes to import cotton and cotton yarn to support the textile industry in enhancing exports.
The shortest possible land routes to import cotton yarn are from India, Uzbekistan and Turkey. The estimated time for the ECO freight train to travel from Islamabad to Turkey is 10 days. Similarly, the estimated time of transportation by road from Pakistan to Turkey is approximately 72 hours/3 days.
Likewise, the estimated transportation time by road from Pakistan to Uzbekistan is approximately 48 hours/2 days.
Bilwani said that the association can give a detailed presentation, in this regard, to the prime minister and the cabinet members, particularly who oppose the suggestion to import cotton and cotton yarn from India.
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