The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has expressed concern over the government’s increasing the duty on import of raw cotton from 2 per cent to 3 per cent which along with the additional duty of 1 per cent has increased the incidence of total import duty to 4 per cent.
The decision of the government has been taken at a time when the textile industry faced a setback after production of cotton declined by almost 35 per cent.
The APTMA has been pleading with the government to totally remove import duty on cotton so that the textile industry can operate in an efficient manner. Instead, they have chosen to increase the duty.
Industry stakeholders say they are finding it hard to continue to operate in these conditions as they are being made to pay such exorbitant amounts in duty on its basic raw material.
Pakistan has become a net importer of raw cotton and the textile industry is trying to remain competitive. The stakeholders say that if they have to import over 3 million bales of cotton due to crop failure then the import duty must be abolished.
The APTMA chairman said the government must take account of the situation immediately and move to abolish all duties and taxes on the import of raw cotton. The industry is already suffering due to high cost of doing business and acute shortage of energy and now it even has to compete amid a surge in cotton yarn imports from its regional competitors.