ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikander Hayat Khan Bosan has rejected the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association’s (Aptma) demand to allow duty-free import of raw cotton to support the textile industry. Earlier, Aptma representatives sought from the government, among other incentives, to allow duty-free import of raw cotton for import but Bosan declined this demand conditionally “No duty-free cotton import will be permitted until and unless all the locally-produced cotton is sold completely,” said the minister while talking to the media on Monday.
“We are expecting much better production of cotton than in the previous year,” said Bosan, adding that authorities were looking forward to a rate of Rs3,000-plus for cotton in the international market. He further said that they were aware of the problems faced by small cotton growing farmers. “Safeguarding the interests of Pakistani cotton growers and overall farmers is one of the key priorities of the government,” Bosan added.
The exporters said the DLTL daily payment position incentive for FY2014-15 has been pending for the last two years, whereas the notification for DLTL refund for FY2015-16 still needs to be issued. The association also demanded that the Pakistan customs tariff chapter, which had not been included in the Ministry of Textiles’ earlier notification for FY2013-14 and 2014-15 for filled bedding, to be included for FY2015-16. They sought 3% customs duty with 2% import incidentals waiver to be announced for two years on raw material of cotton. “The sector has a shortage of 4 million bales; particularly in Punjab and this will enable our spinning industry to compete with the international market,” said the minister.
He further said that the country has surplus wheat, rice and other pulses, adding that Pakistan can support and fulfil any international demand of wheat export if properly and officially communicated. He informed the media that agricultural research is improving day by day, and expressed hope to develop fully functional research institutions in due course of time.