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Protecting cotton and textile sectors

Protecting cotton and textile sectors

The federal government is going to introduce a new textile policy to exploit full benefits of the textile sector. According to Abbas Khan Afridi, the federal minister for textile and industries, the government is incorporating the suggestions given by the stakeholders in the policy and its draft will be forwarded to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for approval. The minister says that exports of valued added products will not only boost the textile industry but will also increase the foreign exchange earnings. He says that the Pakistani cotton can prove to be white gold if a comprehensive policy is devised in collaboration with the stakeholders.

Pakistan is a major cotton producing country and a textile policy is the need of the hour. There are several developed countries which import raw cotton from Pakistan for peanuts, but mint billions of dollars by processing and converting the same cotton into value added goods. Korea, Singapore and Thailand are a few countries to be named which are taking maximum benefits of the Pakistani cotton. If a comprehensive strategy is adopted, the textile sector has the potential to lead the country toward economic development.

The present government has achieved the GSP plus status for Pakistan to ensure the access of the Pakistani products to the European markets. The ball is in the court of the Pakistani government to ensure availability of electricity to the textile industry as well as to take measures to boost the morale of the cotton producers. Pakistan has earned an additional $1 billion by exporting textile products to the European countries this year. Pakistan currently produces 130 million cotton bales, but the production is insufficient keeping in the view the industrial requirements. Another pressing matter facing the cotton farmers is fake cotton seeds. According to newspaper reports, out of 750 seeds supply companies, 700 are involved in supplying fake cotton seeds. There is a need to take stern action against fake seeds suppliers because they are not only harming the farmers, but also the national interests.