ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Textile Industry sought permission, on Monday, from the Economic Coordination Committee to lift the ban on the import of cotton yarn and cotton from India to bridge raw material shortfall for the textile sector.
The import of these items will lead to a partial opening of trade relations with India that is halted since August 2019. The low yield cotton bales have paved the way to import from India.
“We have already submitted a summary to the ECC, a week ago, to lift the ban and their decision will be placed before the federal cabinet for a formal nod.
The decision to consider a lift of the ban from India has come as a relief for the value-added textile sector that always is on the hunt to access cheap raw materials.
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Currently, Pakistan allows cotton and yarn imports from all countries apart from India.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is the in-charge of the commerce and textile ministry and he has already approved the summary that is to be placed before the ECC.
On Aug 9, 2019, Pakistan had downgraded its trade relations with India after the latter decided to revoke Article 370 of its constitution. The revoked article granted Kashmir a special status in the area. Bilateral trade has remained suspended since.
In May 2020, Pakistan approved the lift of the ban placed on the import of medicines and raw material from their eastern neighbour. It was to ensure that there isn’t any shortage of drugs amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood in a tweet said that a meeting had been with the Prime Minister to discuss the escalating prices of cotton yarn and he had an affirmative response for the value-added sectors thus he advised that the ease of pressure on yarn to keep the momentum of value-added exports.”