The failure of cotton crop in Punjab would further worsen the textile industry crisis in Pakistan, industry experts said and added that a decline of 40 per cent in cotton arrival in Punjab must be an eye-opener to the economic managers of the country, who are living in a state of denial so far as the problems of the cotton economy are concerned.
“It is failure of the government institutions responsible for cotton research, which have become ineffective and a burden on industry. All demands to revive them have been falling on the deaf ears of the policy makers, resultantly, the collapse of cotton crop” said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Aamir Fayyaz.
He apprehended that this decline in cotton arrival would have dire consequences on the operations of basic textile industry, which is already suffering due to the high cost of doing business.
“Already 40 per cent of the production capacity in spinning, weaving and processing sectors has become redundant due to the high cost of energy, but the government was not taking necessary measures including the most needed reduction in the electricity tariff in line with the regional competitors,” he deplored.
“The growth indicators of textile industry are in the red zone and some 200,000 jobs have already been lost in basic textile during the last two years in Punjab,” he added. Unfortunately, the government was exclusively focused on building-up foreign exchange reserves through raising of funds from global investors or borrowed from international financial institutions, instead of strengthening textile industry to increase exports and earn foreign exchange to raise foreign reserves.
He said this was at the cost of the viability of textile industry, which is terribly exposed to the high cost of doing business due to continued lopsided policies of the government.
He has urged the government to stop building foreign reserves artificially and rely upon exports in general and textiles, in particular, being the largest foreign exchange earner for the country. . “The present narrow-minded policy of the government would be detrimental not only to the textile industry but also to the cotton growers in the long run” he apprehended.
Chairman APTMA Punjab has expressed the hope that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would intervene and issue directions for early revival of textile industry.
News source: The Nation