KARACHI: Value-added textile sector has asked the government to allow duty-free import of cotton yarn from all over the world, including India.

In a joint press conference on Tuesday, Council of All Pakistan Textile Asso­cia­tions Chairman Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Pakistan Hosiery Manufac­tu­­rers and Exporters Asso­ciation Central Chairman Riaz Ahmed, Pakistan Bed­wear Exporters Association Chairman Rehmat Naveed Elahi and SITE Association of Industry President Abdul Hadi held the government responsible for a 4.5 per cent year-on-year decline in textile exports in February.

On 23 Dec 2020, the government had removed regulatory duty, but cotton yarn imports are still subject to custom duty and other taxes.

They warned the export orders in hand will eventually be diverted to rival countries if the cotton yarn is not made available in required quantity, said a joint statement issued after the press conference. They claimed that the value-added textile sector contributes over 62pc in overall exports, provides 42pc urban employment particularly to female workforce and earns the highest foreign exchange and supports approximately 40 allied industries.

Textile experts said it is the war of prices. India produces cheaper cotton yarn as it has a sufficient cotton crop while the domestically produced yarn is costlier due to use of imported cotton. They said spinners are against allowing duty-free imports of yarn.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2021

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