Despite agriculture country Pakistan, the prices of cotton, cotton yarn, electricity, gas, water, labour wages, seaport, transportation are most exorbitant as compared to all textile exporting countries of world. Still textile exporters of Pakistan with their hard efforts are able to export textile products worth US $15.40 billion during Fiscal Year 2020-21 due to better COVID situation in Pakistan as exemption was granted to export oriented sectors from lockdown. The Textile Sector contributes to more than 60 percent share in the total national exports, earns highest foreign exchange and provides huge employment still lacks the deserving attention of the Government. This statement was issued by Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum.

The Value-Added Textile Exporters grabbed the opportunity and materialized new export orders due to better COVID situation in Pakistan as compared to regional competitors. Nevertheless, with improvement of COVID situation in competing countries Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and unviable cost of manufacturing and shortage of cotton and cotton yarn, Pakistani Exporters will face stiff competition from the regional competitors.

Government must accord priority and attention to the Cotton production, cultivation area and cotton yield in order to support the entire value added textile chain because cotton and cotton yarn are basic raw materials for the survival and development of textile export sector. Due to decline in cotton production, the production of value added textile sector has suffered at large owing to unavailability of cotton yarn. The situation demand immediate attention of the government to take immediate short as well as medium and long term measures with concrete policy to increase cotton production. Government should provide free top quality GM cotton seeds contain a toxin to kill selective insects to growers. The Fertilizer and Pesticides should also be provided on subsidized rates by the Government. The Government should support to those growers who will increase cultivation area and yield on yearly basis. This will surely result in increase in cotton production. Unless cotton production reach to 15 million bales, regulatory duty and custom duty on import of cotton yarn should be 0% from all over the world.

Spinning Sector is also blackmailing the value added textile sector and not fulfilling commitments of booked orders of cotton yarn.  Value added textile sector has been penalized owing to undue protection to spinning sector. If Pakistan does not have spinning sector, Pakistan’s export of Value Added Textiles would be more than export of Bangladesh.

Cotton & Cotton Yarn being the major raw material of the value-added textile export, meantime, must be allowed from India at par with Medicine which is already allowed to be imported from Wagah Border Land Route. Needless to mention here that the sea freights are gone very high and increased by approx. 700% and there is also an acute shortage of containers/vessels which has multiplied the delivery time from 45 days to 90 days. The shortest route to import cotton and cotton yarn is from India through land route and other from Uzbekistan through Afghan Transit.