Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) Senior Vice Chairman Suhail Mehmood Haral demanded on Wednesday that the government does not allow import of cotton till the disposal of current unsold stock.
At present, a surplus of 265,597 bales of cotton is available in the country and if they remain unsold, then the survival of local cotton growers and ginning factories would be at stake.
Speaking to media in Multan, the association’s senior vice chairman, along with other members, said that the government should waive general sales tax and other levies from farm inputs instead of granting subsidies to cut the cost of production.
“The government should announce support price for raw cotton and also provide electricity at Rs5 per unit for agriculture,” he said.
“PCGA is mobilising farmers to grow more cotton in order to increase production up to 20 million bales of 170kg each. However, the government is not spending adequate funds on research work, the result of which is that we are moving backwards in the agriculture sector.”
The association claimed that 98% of the funds in research institutes and centres were being spent on the salaries of staff, while only 2% was being injected into research work.
According to the PCGA’s 14th and final fortnightly report, 10.727 million bales of cotton have been processed so far.
Ginning factories in Punjab recorded arrival of 6.94 million bales, an increase of 15.62%. Meanwhile, ginning units in Sindh recorded arrival of 3.78 million bales whereas last year the province had received 3.76 million bales.
The total volume of cotton sold so far was calculated at 10.46 million bales while 265,597 bales were lying unsold.
By OWAIS QARNI Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2017.