Steps for recovery of cotton economy urged

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the cotton economy should take centre stage in the efforts of the government to revive the economy.

The issues of all the stakeholders from growers to those linked with the value-addition should be resolved as country’s sixty percent exports are tied to agriculture while cotton is prominent among them, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that cotton economy is facing issues like the collapse of crops, substandard pesticides, uncertified seed, water scarcity, climate change, pest attacks, difficulties in obtaining loans, and the tendency of planters to grow other crops.

He said that textile is the largest industry of the country earning major portion of the foreign exchange and providing more urban jobs than any other sector but it is also reeling under multiple problems that include high cost of doing business, political uncertainty, lack of research and value addition, taxations issues, and energy prices which has damaged its competitiveness.

These issues have deprived the country of getting the full benefit of the GSP plus status which was awarded after a lot of efforts, he observed.

The business leader said that government should make a plan to revive the cotton economy with the consultation of APTMA, Karachi Cotton Association and all other stakeholders as it will infuse confidence if local and foreign investors who have put their investment decision on hold.

He said that China is the largest importer of cotton and yarn, therefore, the government should try to lure their business community to start buying these things from Pakistan which will help revive the cotton economy.