Pakistan may allow cotton imports from India through land route as prospects of gradual restoration of bilateral trade ties have brightened the new ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control. As per a SRTEPC report, the issue of cotton shortfall has already been brought to the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who also holds the commerce ministry. Once a principled decision is taken, a formal order will be presented before the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet.
India and Pakistan issued a joint statement on Thursday to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors after the hotline discussions by their Director Generals of Military Operations. As per reports, the trade ties between both the countries can help minimize cost of production in Pakistan and ensure sustained food supplies.
There is a minimum shortfall of six million bales and Pakistan has so far imported roughly 688,305 metric tonne of cotton and yarn, costing $1.1 billion, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. There is still a gap of about 3.5 million bales that needs to be filled through imports.
Due to shortage of cotton and yarn, the users were compelled to import them from the United States, Brazil and Uzbekistan. However, imports from India would be far cheaper and would reach Pakistan within three to four days.