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Cotton growers seek early release of water              
By Nasir Jamal

LAHORE(October 09 2010): Pakistan can obtain at least one million additional bales of cotton if government releases water in perennial canals during the current month, according to Pakistan Cotton Forum (PCF), a joint platform of growers, ginners and spinners.

The forum said on Thursday that recent devastating floods might have damaged around 2.6 million bales of cotton – one million bales in Punjab and 1.6 million bales in Sindh, reducing the current year’s crop in the country to 10.7-11 million bales.

The floods have affected a little over 13 per cent cotton growing area in Punjab and 35 per cent in Sindh, the PCF said.
 

 


The government can help growers recover part of the lost crop by providing water to them during the current month, it was claimed at a meeting of the forum at the office of the All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).

The meeting was attended by spinners, ginners, farmers, cotton scientists from the Punjab government and representatives of the Karachi Cotton Association.

“The damage to the cotton crop can be curtailed provided water is supplied to 61 per cent of the cotton belt having perennial canals till the end of this month,” said Pakistan Farmer Association office-bearer Farooq Bajwa. He said it would add one million bales to the crop.

Punjab government expert Dr Abid Mehmood said that conditions for the cotton crop had improved in September and if a favourable weather might see additional production in the next three months.

PCF chairman Mohammad Akber said cotton was in short supply worldwide, therefore, government should announce measures to improve productivity of standing cotton crop.

 

He said water released for cotton this month could be adjusted in the next crop. “It will save the country over billion dollars in foreign exchange,” he added.

Aptma chairman Gohar Ejaz warned of negative consequences of implementation of reformed general sales tax (RGST) on entire textile sector, saying it would ruin the entire industry.

He said spinners would have to pay over Rs60 billion on purchase of cotton during October-December period.

He warned that the trade concessions offered by the European Union would go waste if textile industry is brought under the ambit of the value-added tax.

“If the tax has to be imposed, it should be imposed only at the finishing stage,” he said.



Courtesy: The DAWN

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