LAHORE - Countrys textile sector is facing worst shortage of cotton yarn as the unplanned and unrestricted export of cotton and yarn is badly affecting the power looms and export of value added garment sector, stakeholders said on Saturday. They also demanded the government to immediately ban the export of cotton and yarn as more than 100 power looms units have already been closed down while the rest are facing closure due to spiraling prices and worst shortage of cotton and cotton yarn. The export of value added knitwear garments, sportswear, made ups and other products will be badly affected if unbridled export of raw materials like cotton yarn and raw cotton is not checked by the government, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association here said Saturday. They said that the exports of value added textile products have already declined alarmingly during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2009-10 and if this trend continues, it might lead to closure of more industrial units resulting further unemployment of the labor force, Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association Dr Khurram Anwar Khawaja and Adil Butt, a knitwear exporter, said in a joint statement. They also said that the Ministry of Textile Industry seemed to be concerned over this alarming situation but time for corrective measures is running short. The export of value added textiles registered more than 10 per cent decrease during first quarter of the fiscal 2009-2010 as compared to corresponding period last year. Khurram Anwar Khawaja demanded the government to immediately intervene in the local supply chain mechanism to save the entire value added textile sector. It is important to mention here that at present knitwear garment industry in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot is the largest job providing sector in the country and the nation could not afford to put this sector to any risk, they said. The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association further said that the delayed actions on the part of government would result in great national loss, as the international market is not dependent only on the supply chain of Pakistan. Famous Fashion Designer Ayesha Shiraz said that unplanned and unrestricted export of cotton and cotton yarn is having an adverse effect on power looms and the export of value added garment sector. The constant export of these items has already pushed up its prices to new heights, ultimately increasing the cost of production at home and making it difficult to export our value added products. The irony is that the cotton yarn is being exported to our competing countries, which amounts to arming them for competing us in the finished product market. We should measure our success not by the number of cotton bales we have exported but by the amount of foreign exchange we have earned through our textile exports, she said adding, the value added apparel sector is converting raw cotton of 67 cents a round into value added finished goods worth $ S to $ S a piece earning valuable foreign exchange for the country. India and China also export cotton and cotton yarn but they give regard to the requirement of value added textile exporters and export only after determining the volume of crop and the exportable surplus, ensuring that the requirement of their value added textile exporters are properly met. Why cant we plan like this, she questioned? However, Former Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Ijaz A Khokhar said that market forces were responsible for increase in the price of yarn in the local market. He said that value added sector demanded imposition of export duty on cotton and ban on export of 10-32 count yarn from Pakistan to safeguard interests of value added sector. Ijaz also added that it is the matter of employment of 2.5m workers of apparel sector. PRGMEA Chairman also referred to the announcement of shortage of Sui Gas and stoppage of supply to the apparel sector. He pleaded to the govt that processing units be exempted from gas load shedding so that value added sector is allowed to run its chain.