Cotton export: Foreign minister will write to Indian counterpart


ISLAMABAD: The textile manufacturers on Friday asked the foreign office to take up the issue with Indian foreign ministry to honour the contract for export of over one million cotton bales to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will send a letter to his Indian counterpart directing the commerce ministry to allow traders to export the contracted cotton to Pakistan, said Aptma chairman Gohar Ijaz after a meeting of the textile manufacturers with senior officers in the foreign office here on Friday.

New Delhi halted export of 400,000 cotton bales to Pakistan for which letters of credit had already been issued, said Mr Ijaz, adding contracts for the remaining 600,000 bales were also finalised for shipment in the months from Dec to Feb.

Contrary to the Indian move, Pakistan allowed its traders to export onion for which contracts were already signed ahead of the imposition of ban on January 4.

“We demanded a similar response from the Indian government on moral ground to honour the contracts reached out between the traders of two countries”, said the Aptma.

Of the 33.35 million cotton bales produced in India around 20 millions bales were consumed in local textile mills leaving a large surplus for exports.

Trade analysts said the Indian ban on cotton export is not driven by economic principles but is a political issue. As most of the spinning and textile mills were owned by South Indian politicians, who wanted this restriction in order to make the raw cotton available for domestic industries, they added

“Pakistan allowed export of contracted onion to India following the foreign office intervention. We hope a similar intervention from the Indian foreign ministry,” Mr Ijaz said while quoting Pakistan`s foreign minister.

Polyester Fibre: Federal Textile Industry Minister Farooq Saeed Khan on Friday asked the local manufacturers of polyester fibre to review the demand of textile mills association asking for withdrawal of 6 per cent anti-dumping duty on import of PSF within seven days.

According to Ejaz Gohar, if the representatives of the local PSF manufacturers agreed to this proposal, then a four member committee under the textile minister will be constituted to implement the agreement.

However, he said in case the PSF manufacturers did not agree to the proposal, then the textile manufacturers will ask for waiver of 6.5 percent duty on import of PSF to meet the local demands.