Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has demanded of the government to take far-reaching effective measure to save the agriculture industry and trade sectors from economic destruction. Now the government had pushed the farmers, ginners and textile millers towards an alley which caused the frustration, unemployment and poverty etc.
Talking to media men, Chairman of PCGA Nawab Shehzad Ali Khan, Chairman of Ginners group Haji Muhammad Akram, ex-Chairman Suhail Mehmood Haral said that our research institutes, agricultural scientists failed to evolve new varieties of cotton during last two decades.
Taking advantage of this situation, seed mafia strengthened itself and it supplied substandard, less germinated, unapproved, spurious and uncertified seed to farmers at exorbitant prices. It was still fleecing the farmers because there was no Seed Act to award them exemplary punishments.
Criticising the government policies, they said that sugar mills are being set up in core cotton zone. Setting up of unlawful sugar mills in Southern Punjab will have detrimental effects on the cotton and ginning industries in the region. He said that the construction of new sugar mills will destroy the economic balance of the cotton belt and, consequently, the land will become barren due to salinity and water logging. The government must ban the construction of new sugar mills in cotton cultivated areas of Southern Punjab to safeguard the cotton industry.
They further said that government did not implement on its bailout packages nor fulfil any commitment consequently the crisis further aggravated. Pakistani textile industry enjoys no support from the state and is in fact bleeding financially due to struck up refunds on exports while Indian exporters are enjoying all kind of export incentives, cheaper power and cheaper labour, they said, this focus market incentive has armed them with ammunition to wipe the Pakistani spinners out of even their domestic market. He said when Pakistan was granted GSP plus status by EU from January 2014, making its textile exports zero-rated, the Indian government immediately announced almost equivalent rebate on textile exports to EU to nullify the Pakistani advantage.
In order to increase its exports, the Indian government has come up with the concept of focus market and focus products. The Indian exporters are entitled to 3-5 percent additional rebates, if they export their products to focus market. Pakistan incidentally is included in the focus market countries, they revealed, adding it as the main reason Pakistan market is flooded by Indian yarn and fabric, they added. The PCGA demanded a bailout package for ginners immediately, Soft term loans and interest free-loans up to Rs 5 million for the revival of crisis-ridden ginneries. These loans should be repaid in next five years.