ICCI President for banning cotton export to bring stability in the domestic market

  • July 07, 2009
Despite bumper cotton crop this year, the textile industry was facing shortage of cotton; therefore, government should put a ban on the export of cotton to bring stability in the domestic market.

This was stated by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a statement. Cotton production may exceed the target set for 2009-10 fiscal year (13.36 million bales) by about 9.4 percent to 14.6 million bales or even to 16 million bales following increased sowing in Punjab & Sindh and usage of BT seed for the current financial year.

He said the cotton production remained 2.7 million bales below the set target of 14.1 million bales during the outgoing fiscal on account of non-supply of better quality seed, short supply of quality inputs and insufficient water supply and stressed upon the government to address these issues on priority to meet the cotton targets in future.

He said government should encourage the use of certified BT cotton seed to cope with the cotton shortage problem as its production was more than other seed varieties. He said the country was importing over three million bales to meet the demand of the local textile industry while usage of BT cotton could overcome this shortfall to some extent.

Mian Shaukat said banks had closed their credit limits for many sectors, particularly for spinners and ginners due to which they were facing problems in purchasing cotton and urged that government should direct banks to facilitate these sectors in purchasing cotton by extending them easy credit facilities.

He said factors like high interest rates, high cost of inputs, non-conducive government policies and non-guaranteed energy supplies were badly affecting the competitiveness of textile industry and government should take measures to address these issues on urgent basis.

ICCI President said lack of R&D support to cotton sector had resulted in low quality of cotton in comparison to rest of Asia. He said because of the subsequent low profitability in cotton crops, farmers were shifting to other cash crops, such as sugar cane and urged upon the government to restore R&D support to textile sector to arrest its decline.

He said although the Cotton Vision 2015 targets 20 million bales till 2015, but added that without needed supportive measures from the government for textile sector, this target would remain just a dream.