Aptma Seeks Duty Withdrawal on Cotton Imports
KARACHI: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Sindh-Balochistan Zone has urged the government to immediately withdraw four percent import duty on raw cotton, as the local crop is likely to remain 11.25 million bales this year, while the requirement is above 14.5 million bales.
In a statement on Monday, a spokesman for the association said that Aptma has also demanded the withdrawal of import duty two months ago and the relevant ministry had said that it was too early to remove this duty and the government wanted to wait till the major portion of the local crop was sold by the farmers.
Currently, around 80 to 82 percent of the crop has been absorbed by the textile industry, the spokesman said. The association spokesman also said that it is misleading to state that the ginners and TCP had sufficient stocks of cotton lint to fulfill the needs of the industry.
“Since it is clear that the local crop is short of the requirements of the industry, it is necessary that timely action may be taken so that the exports of the country do not suffer any further.” “It is not possible for the textile industry to bear the additional burden of four percent import duty and compete in the export market against countries, which have a lower cost of raw cotton due to local availability without import incidentals,” he added.
Since the textile sector exports were already declining, it is in the interest of the country and the industry, as a whole, to take stock of the position in a realistic manner so that the production capacity may not close down any further, he added.