The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) leadership expressed its reservations on granting the status of ‘most favoured nation’ to India, describing it detrimental to Pakistan’s cotton growers and ginners and said that the Parliament should reject this decision of the Cabinet because it would ruin the industry.
Addressing a joint press conference here on Thursday PCGA chairman Amanullah Qureshi, Kishan Chand Kohistani vice chairman south, Saeed Ahmed ex-chairman, Muhammad Azam member CEC said that cost of production (either agricultural or industrial sector) in India is lower than Pakistan.
They said that Indian goods and agricultural produce would be imported by different sectors to earn maximum profit and textile millers would prefer Indian cotton on local cotton to run their mills.Kishan Chand told newsmen that a delegation of PCGA South Zone called on President Asif Ali Zardari and apprised him of their grievances.
“We informed him that 175 out of total 250 ginning factories were badly hit in recent floods and rains in interior of Sindh.
Banks had withdrawn the debt limits and Beoparis/ textile millers were purchasing seed-cotton at Rs 2200 to Rs 3000 per 40 kg declaring it substandard or low quality lint.
He said that President Asif Zardari listened to them patiently and assured that he would issue instruction to State Bank of Pakistan for special rebate for the ginners of flood hit areas.
He said that neither the President issued instructions in this regard nor a bailout package was announced for them.He suggested that the government should procure cotton from Sindh on top-priority basis through Trading Corporation of Pakistan(TCP) for the survival of the growers.Amanullah reiterated his demand for granting incentives for cotton exporters and conditions of pre-export security/ guarantee and registration be waived so that ginners could export cotton on better price and could earn precious foreign exchange of billions of dollars.Expressing concern on the cotton stock of 1.8 million bales he said that ginners would not be able to purchase phutti from the growers after Eid-ul-Azha because their total investment was blocked due to non-availability of buyers.
He said that Trading Corporation should jump into the arena as third buyer to protect the growers’ and ginners’ interests.Aman said that PCGA never incurred loss in the business of cotton and it had earned profit of billions of rupees in this business.
He said that Sutlej river played a havoc in Bahawalnagar and Vehari districts where 10 percent crop was damaged.
Now Bahawalnagar is the only district in Punjab where cotton production declined by 6.12 percent.
PCGA leaders warned the government that they would be forced to stop purchasing raw cotton from the growers and taking future course of action to save themselves from being bankrupted.
He once again rejected the cotton production estimate of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) describing it unfair and exaggerated and said that cotton production for 2011-12 would not be less than 15 million bales, and the government should ask the Trading Corporation of Pakistan to purchase the surplus produce of 3.4 million bales or at lest 2.5 million bales.He reiterated his appeal to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to save cotton growers and ginners from financial losses as the textile millers had created a cartel to keep the prices at the lowest level in spite of this fact that New York and other markets prices are stable and higher than Pakistan.He said that the government should ask the Trading Corporation of Pakistan to play its role as third buyer to foil the cartel of spinners, weavers and other textile millers.
He said that ginners would be forced to export cotton to China and Turkey directly to save themselves from financial losses, then textile millers would have to import cotton at the highest rate by spending huge precious foreign exchange.
He said that textile millers should keep in mind that rupee was depreciating rapidly and they would have to purchase cotton from different countries at Rs 10,000 per maund.