Textile exporters urge allowing cotton import from India

Textile exporters urge allowing cotton import from India

KARACHI: Textile exporters have urged the government to allow import of cotton and cotton yarn from India and other countries through land routes.

In a letter sent to Abdul Razzak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, the exporters said that value-added garment and home textile exporters are facing severest ever shortage of cotton yarn which is basic raw material.

Muhammad Jawed Bilwani Chief Coordinator & Former Central Chairman, in the letter apprised that cotton Yarn prices have been increased by approximately 40 per cent to 70 per cent (for different yarn counts 20/s, 30/s etc) and even on this exorbitant price cotton yarn is not available. Where cotton yarn is available is of substandard quality.

The situation has also compelled the exporters not to take further new orders and for this reason such export orders meant for Pakistan shall be diverted to other regional countries.

Needless to mention here that the sea freights have gone very high and increased by approx. 700 per cent and there is also an acute shortage of containers/ vessels which has multiplied the delivery time from 45 days to 90 days.

Therefore, the government must support and facilitate the Value Added Garment & Home Textile exporters in the growing crisis of unavailability of vessels and containers on war footing basis.

In view of the existing scenario, it is highly important to explore and use the shortest possible routes to import cotton and cotton yarn in order to support the textile industry to enhance exports.

The shortest possible land routes to import cotton yarn are from India, Uzbekistan and Turkey. The estimated time for ECO freight trains to travel from Islamabad to Turkey is 10 days.

Similarly, the estimated time of transportation by road from Pakistan to Turkey is approx. 72 hours / 3 days. Likewise, the estimated transportation time by road from Pakistan to Uzbekistan is approx. 48 hours / 2 days.

“The textile sector contributes to more than 60 percent share in the total national exports, earns highest foreign exchange and provides huge employment, therefore, cotton and cotton yarn being the major raw material of the value-added textile export must be allowed from India at par with medicine which is already allowed to be imported from Wagah Border Land Route.”

Similarly, duty free import of cotton and cotton yarn should also be allowed and facilitated from Uzbekistan and Turkey through land routes via roads and railways.

“We can give a detailed presentation in this regard if you may kindly arrange a meeting with the honourable prime minister and cabinet members particularly who oppose our suggestion to import cotton and cotton yarn from India,” Bilwani said.