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APTMA criticises increase in custom duty on import of cotton

APTMA has expressed great concern over the callous attitude of the Pakistan government in increasing the duty on import of raw cotton from 2 per cent to 3 per cent which along with the additional duty of 1 per cent has increased the incidence of total import duty to 4 per cent. This is at a time when the textile industry is reeling from the effects of a total crop failure in the country.

Incidentally, Pakistan’s cotton production has declined by almost 35 per cent. APTMA has been pleading with the government to totally remove import duty on cotton so that the textile industry can operate in an efficient manner. But instead of accepting reality, they have chosen to increase duty and further exacerbate the industry’s plight. It is not possible for the textile industry to continue to operate in these conditions and contribute to higher exports and provision of yarn to the domestic downstream if they are made to pay such exorbitant amount of duty on its basic raw material. Pakistan has become a net importer of raw cotton and even then the textile industry is trying to remain competitive while contributing to the national exchequer as well provides millions of jobs.

Meanwhile, Tariq Saud, Chairman APTMA said that the government must take account of the situation immediately and move to abolish all duties and taxes on import of raw cotton. The industry is already suffering due to high cost of doing business and acute shortage of energy in the country and now even has to compete with a surge in cotton yarn imports from its regional competitors.