Dastgir assures PCGA to take up issues with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar
ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has assured the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) to take up their issues with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
“The minister has also asked the PCGA to submit detailed list of their problems and issues to the ministry for further minute deliberations,” a source in the ministry told Customs Today. He said that a six-member delegation of PCGA held a detailed meeting with the minister and apprised him about the issues faced by the industry.
The source said that the minister also expressed his satisfaction over the bumper production of cotton approximately 15 million bales.
“The PCGA delegation told the minister that they had procured almost 12 million bales of cotton from the growers and further processed and now they had run short of capital for the procurement of remaining 3 million cotton bales,” he said, adding that the delegation demanded that the minister use his influence to press the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to expedite the procurement of cotton from the PCGA.
The source said that the PCGA delegation also viewed that higher prices of cotton (Rs 6,800 per bale) was also one of the reasons for slow procurement process by the TCP. They urged the government to reduce the per bale cotton price to Rs 5,500 which would enable the TCP to procure cotton in larger quantity.
Moreover, the source said that PCGA delegation also lamented a recession in the export of cotton due to comparatively lower prices of cotton in international cotton market. However, the source said that minister was of the viewpoint that fixation of per bale price as well as quantity of procurement did not fall under the jurisdiction of his ministry. He said it was prerogative of the government to fix per bale price as well as quantity to be procured.
“What I can do in this regard is nothing more except to take up the issues of gearing up TCP for procurement of cotton and others with the finance minister,” the source quoted the minister as saying. He said the Minster told the delegation to hold a meeting with the finance minister and PCGA delegation accepted his advice and would meet the finance minister.
The TCP is a subordinate department of the Commerce Ministry and has cotton procurement centres in Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Vehari and Sahiwal in Punjab and Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Sukkur and Hala in Sindh.