LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has urged the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Textile Industry & Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood to withdraw custom duty and sales tax on the import of cotton and polyester staple fibre (PSF) with immediate effect to enable the industry and its dependent value chain to remain competitive in the international market place.
The APTMA spokesman has expressed dismay over the reduction of regulatory duty on the import of cotton yarns from 10% to 5. The duty was levied to restrict strident increase in import of undervalue and subsidized cotton yarn entering in our domestic commerce.
APTMA spokesman termed it as contrary to the cascading principle of tariff, saying that the domestic spinning industry is fighting for its survival as both its major raw materials i.e. cotton and Polyester Staple Fibre are burdened with the imposition of import levies despite shortage in domestic production.
He further pointed out that due to the consistent failure of cotton crop, the spinning industry is dependent on import of cotton to the extent of 3.5 million bales to meet the consumption requirement of the spinning industry. Decline in production of cotton in the country has not only affected the operations of basic textile industry, but also resulted in surge in import of cotton yarn. In 2014-15, total import of cotton yarn was 23000 tons per annum which has increased to 101090 tons in 2017-18, he stressed.
He pointed out that 80% of the spinning output is exported in one form or the another and with such high duties on raw cotton, the industry is not only becoming uncompetitive but also loosing export markets to India and other countries.
He said the current year cotton crop again has been estimated to be short while the quality of cotton is also very poor. Textile Industry across the value chain cannot meet quality standards in the export market and in order to compensate farmers please provide direct support and subsidy but not at the cost of textile industry and exports.
Therefore, he said the industry demands an immediate withdrawal of custom duty and sales tax on the import of cotton and PSF and let the industry and the dependent value chain grow in a competitive environment and earn precious foreign exchange for the country and employment for its people.