Prime Minister can revive and save cotton economy-Dr.Jassu Mal

MULTAN, Jan 22nd: Dr. Jassu Mal T. Leemani, chairman of the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), has stressed for the revival of Cott...


MULTAN, Jan 22nd: Dr. Jassu Mal T. Leemani, chairman of the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), has stressed for the revival of Cotton economy for the prosperity of all stake holder as well as the country.He was addressing a hurriedly called Press Conference here on Friday along with Haji Muhammad Akram,Former Vice Chairmen Suhail Mehmood Haral, Mehr Muhamad Ashraf Mahar,Ch,.Waheed Arshad, Rao Sadaruddin, Mian Fazal Elahi Sheikh, Ex-President MCCI, Khawaja Muhammad Arshad, and Asif Khalil said that at a press conference in Multan. He suggested that interest-free loan be given to cotton growers besides providing certified, well germinated, heat resistant hybrid seed, cheaper electricity, original pesticides and other inputs, the prohibition of all crops in Core cotton areas strictly implement the Cotton Control Act(CCA). He further proposed that the Support Price of raw-cotton(Phutti) must be announced immediately to bring maximum area under cotton crop but it should not be less than Rs.5000/- per maund. and a high powered cotton Control Board (CCB)headed by Prime Minister be constituted to resolve the problems of all stakeholders besides achieving the target of 20 million bales of cotton. He demanded the withdrawal of 10 % sales tax, withholding tax  on the sale of cotton to attract alternate buyers.Dr.Jassu Mal said that a revolution can be brought in the cotton economy by spending huge funds equal to foreign exchange wasted on the import of cotton, sugar and wheat. He said that the anti-cotton lobby managed to get reject the summary of support price for Phutti twice.Now Prime Minister would have to use his influence and veto powers to save the cotton economy. He said 

“Cotton cultivation [in area] has declined by 35% since 2014-15 because farmers have shifted to sugar cane from cotton because of higher government support prices,” he added, saying bad weather conditions and lack of certified seeds had also contributed to the decline. 

“The country had achieved the highest output of 15 million bales in 2014-15 but since then production is on the decline which forces the country to import cotton to meet domestic textile sector’s requirement,” Leemani said.Cotton is also the lifeline of Pakistan’s textile industry, which accounts for more than half of the country’s exports.“The import of the cotton and related products are expected to cost around $3 billion,” he said.

Pakistan’s imports of raw cotton increased by 512 percent to $532 million in the first six months of the current fiscal year. The country imported $880 million worth of raw cotton during the last fiscal year, which was 14.67 percent higher than the previous year. Pakistani central bank data shows cotton cultivation dropped by 11.9% in the current fiscal year to 2.2 million hectares, the lowest since fiscal year 1982. The cotton crop suffered due to exceptionally heavy monsoon rains and pest attacks, according to the central bank. 

Due to the shortage, the price of cotton in the local market has increased substantially after almost nine years.“The spot rates of cotton are hovering around Rs 11,000 per bale (40 Kg) which is close to the all-time high of Rs 14,000 recorded back in 2010-11,” PCGA Chairman said. “The international market is also tight due to short supply.”

Ginners said declining cotton output had closed down more than 60 percent of ginning factories across Pakistan, forcing thousands out of jobs. The livelihoods of around 1.5 million farmers are directly associated with cotton harvesting in Pakistan.

“Out of 1,200 ginning factories, only around 500 are operational, that also at less than half of the production capacity,” PCGA’s Leemani said. “For the revival of the cotton sector we demand establishment of a cotton control board and cotton zoning where other crops should be banned.”

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South Punjab News : Prime Minister can revive and save cotton economy-Dr.Jassu Mal
Prime Minister can revive and save cotton economy-Dr.Jassu Mal
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