The Government of Pakistan is considering importing cotton from Uzbekistan via land routes, a national daily reported.
The Adviser to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment, Razak Dawood, said that the option is under consideration as the textile exporters await decisive steps by the government amid a 40 percent drop in the crop output.
Imports from Uzbekistan were considered after the government’s refusal to import cotton from India despite the fact that imports from India take four days to reach Pakistan while those from Uzbekistan take eight days. Even then, it is more cost-effective as compared to sea transport that can take months.
Last week, Dawood had promised value-added textile exporters that he would present their demands, including a ban and duties on yarn exports and duty-free imports via lands, to the authorities.
The prices of cotton yarn have become exorbitantly high in Pakistan, indicative of hoarding and black marketing of cotton yarn. This has led to financial difficulties for the value-added textile exporters as their cost of production has increased multifold.
The appreciation of the Pakistani Rupee as compared to the US Dollar is also adding to the increase in the prices of cotton yarn, along with higher costs coming from a 700 percent increase in sea freight charges.
Pakistan’s cotton output, which has been at its lowest quantity in the last 30 years, is currently facing a shortage of approximately 40 percent.
The value-added exporters have also requested the Adviser to expedite the release of payments of duty drawbacks to support the textile industry.