KARACHI: The government has made it difficult for the textile industry to operate in the country after it increased the import duty on raw cotton, a statement issued by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) said on Friday.
The government has increased the duty on import of raw cotton from two percent to three percent with additional duty of one percent, making total import duty of four percent.
“It is not possible for the textile industry to continue to operate in these conditions and contribute to higher exports and provision of yarn to the domestic downstream, if they are made to pay such exorbitant amount of duty on its basic raw material,” the statement quoted Tariq Saud, chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, as saying.
This has been done at a time when the textile industry is reeling from the effects of a total crop failure, as the production of cotton in the year 2015/16 has declined by almost 35 percent.
Furthermore, cultivation of cotton this year is expected to decline by approximately 25 percent, which will ultimately create shortage of cotton to the spinning industry, compelling them to import the commodity at four percent Customs duty, according to the statement.
Saud said that the association is repeatedly pleading the government to totally remove import duty on cotton so that the textile industry can operate in an efficient manner.
“But instead of accepting the reality, they have chosen to increase duty and further exacerbate the industry’s plight,” he added.
Pakistan has become a net importer of raw cotton and even than the textile industry is trying to remain competitive, while contributing to the national exchequer, as well as providing millions of jobs.
“But if we have to import over four million bales due to crop failures than import duty must be abolished,” Saud said. The textile sector was already suffering due to high cost of doing business and shortage of energy, he said.