ISLAMABAD: As per the report released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s textile and clothing exports caromed in March this year, due to value-added sectors, and registered a surge of 30.4 percent from the corresponding month of last year.
The export value spiked to $1.355 billion in March this year from $1.039 billion in March 2020, says the report released on Friday.
Textile sector stakeholders have now asked the government to set forth a free market mechanism and focus on the long-term interest of Pakistan by taking steps to improve cotton production instead of accepting yarn imports at subsidized rates, a step that puts more burden on the economy.
Adil Bashir, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), in a statement on Friday said: “Any warp in the mechanism of the free market from garments to cotton in the textile supply chain will be disastrous for Pakistan’s textile exports.”
Recently, the government gave out incentives by drawing the customs duty back on the import of cotton yarn to smoothen the supply of the commodity to the value-added industry while contracting the gap between overall demand for inputs and domestic production, he maintained.
The scheme will expire on June 30, 2021. Pakistan is currently facing a hefty deficit of approximately 7 million bales of cotton compared to the annual need of 14 million bales.
The country’s spinning industry, which is the third-largest in the world after China and India, is also finding it hard to meet the needs of the textile sector.
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, under former finance minister Hammad Azhar, recently agreed to the import of cotton and cotton yarn from India but the decision was overturned by the Federal Cabinet due to a political backlash. It will be tough for the value-added sector to entertain the orders in case the government does not take a step to ensure the availability of cotton yarn in the domestic market.