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Aptma demands re-imposition of custom duty on cotton

Zahid Mazhar, Sr Vice Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) says as per final statistics of cotton arrival released by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association on May 1, only 11.58 million bales of 155 kg of cotton were produced in 2017-18. In fact, for three seasons in a row cotton crop has been below target. As per Pakistan Central Cotton Committee’s report this year about 48 per cent of cotton crop area in Sindh was missed due to scarcity and poor management of water,.

Because of the imposition of custom duty and sales tax on import of raw cotton, import of finished cotton yarn has seen 500 per cent increase in 2016-17 as compared to 2011-12. Mazhar says due to the high cost of doing business and inadequate supply of raw cotton almost 140 textile mills have closed resulting in a loss of one million jobs.

Another 75 to 80 mills are on the verge of closure which will add another 0.5 million to the unemployment figure. Due to closures of about 140 mills and the mills operating under capacity, Pakistan’s textile exports is suffering a loss of more than $4 billion per annum. He also stated Pakistan’s cotton crop is far behind consumption requirement of 15 million bales, for the third consecutive year.