Islamabad -  Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Monday said that no duty-free cotton import will be permitted until and unless all the locally produced cotton is sold completely.

While talking to journalist, he said better cotton crop is expected this year than previous year. He said, “We are also looking forward of having rupees three thousand plus rate for cotton in international market. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has been demanding duty-free cotton for import purposes. We are fully aware of problems of small cotton growing farmers and through media we humbly request that our message may be communicated in a befitting manner nationwide to all farmers especially cotton growers.” Safeguarding the interests of Pakistani cotton growers and overall farmers is included in the priorities of the Government of Pakistan, he said.

While answering a question, the minister replied that the country have surplus wheat, rice and other pulses. He said Pakistan will be supporting and fulfilling any international demand of wheat if officially communicated. He said agriculture based industries are also including in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), therefore, his ministry is on board.

Bosan said CPEC is for the progress and development of all Pakistan without any discrimination, therefore, all the information and decisions taken in any relevant area is duly communicated to all provinces.