Cotton prices reached the highest level in the country’s history. Many ginning factories, textile mills have been shut down. Cotton import to increase import bill.

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(August 29, 2022)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said rains and floods have damaged the cotton crop more than any other crop.

The destruction of the cotton crop has pushed its prices up to the highest level in the history of the country which is a threat to the country’s largest industrial and export sector of textiles, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the situation is alarming as the largest industrial and export sector, which employs millions of people and earns handsome foreign exchange for the country is facing this problem.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that due to rising cotton prices, many textile and ginning mills are running below capacity while many have closed, affecting employment, business, exports and production.

He said that a huge amount of cotton will have to be imported to keep the textile mills running, which will consume a lot of foreign exchange and increase the import bill, whereas two billion dollars worth of cotton was imported in the last financial year as well.

There is a need to initiate a major project to increase cotton production at the local level, he said, adding that no cotton growing area has been spared by the rains and flood.

In some places where crops have escaped complete destruction, their quality has been badly affected and due to these factors, the price of cotton has increased by two thousand rupees per bale in the last eight days and this trend is likely to continue.

Meanwhile, many ginning factories have inundated and many warehouses have collapsed, which is having a negative impact on the situation.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the rural economy has been destroyed due to rains and floods. A sharp decline in rural demand is expected, which will affect dozens of sectors including tractors, trucks, vehicles, motorcycles and fertilizer companies, while severe shortages of commodities and vegetables are also likely.

He further said that the government’s decision to impose a 19% sales tax on fertilizer, DAP, phosphorus etc. due to the pressure of IMF is wrong as distressed farmers will have to face more pressure due to which the agricultural production will fall further.

Some politicians, instead of uniting, are busy pulling each other’s legs for their own vested interests resulting in political chaos at this critical time which is affecting relief activities.

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