Textile exporters have urged the government to allow duty-free import of cotton yarn to reverse the downtrend in exports.
Value-added textile contributes to around 62 percent in total exports, provides 42 percent urban employment, particularly to the female workforce, earns the highest foreign exchange, and supports approximately 40 allied industries.
The value-added textile producers, during a news conference, said that they have been trying to draw the government’s attention towards the shortage of yarn for several months. The representatives of the Council of All Pakistan Textile Association and Pakistan Apparel Forum said that they have made appeals and press statements, towards unavailability and shortage of cotton yarn – which is the basic raw material – for the last five months.
The exporters announced that they would go for countrywide protests if cotton yarn’s duty-free import is not allowed. No details were shared on whether the protest would entail the shutdown of factories or a sit-in.
One of the exporters said that the 4.5 percent drop already seen in exports is indicative of the fact that the unavailability of cotton yarn would hurt the export orders. He said that export orders would begin to move to other competing countries if the cotton yarn is not made available in the required quantity.
Exports fell 4.5 percent year-on-year to $2 billion in February after maintaining the growth pace for five months.
Exporters lamented that whenever the value-added textile industry takes off with its full potential, some adverse thing happens, and all the hard efforts of exporters are put at stake due to some anti-exports move from the government side.
Disconnection of gas to captive power plants of export industries depicted a bleak picture of Pakistani exporters in eyes of foreign buyers worldwide, the exporters said. Further adding that now the government’s indifference towards not allowing duty-free import of cotton yarn will push the export industries towards disaster.