KARACHI - President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Tanvir A. Sheikh has strongly reacted on the news of allowing export of cotton from Pakistan to India. Indian government removed 14 percent duty on cotton import as a result of this Indian cotton importers have increased the demand of Pakistani cotton. Tanvir A. Sheikh mentioned that Pakistan's annual production of cotton is about 11.5 million bales and country's annual requirement stands at 16 million bales leaving a shortfall of over 4 million bales. It is also notable that about 1.6 million bales were imported from India last year. If the government does not impose ban on the export of cotton then local industry will face serious shortage of cotton in the coming year. It will be a repetition of the problem, which we have seen in recent past when government did not take any notice on the export of wheat and by the end of the year we had to import wheat at exorbitantly high price to fulfil our local demand. Tanvir demanded that the government should immediately reverse this decision otherwise textile industry of Pakistan will face problems. The permission to allow export of cotton to India is not at all in the interest of the country. He has also shown his serious concern over the increasing trend in trade deficit. He mentioned that we had achieved 99 percent of export target during July to May of current fiscal year. Pakistan's trade deficit is more than 18.7 billion dollars. Higher growth in import is the major cause of rapidly increasing trade deficit. It is notable that despite the difficult conditions on domestic and international fronts, export oriented industries have successfully achieved export target. Pakistan spent more than 2 billion dollars on the import of transport goods, out of which more than 50 percent foreign exchange was spent on the import of motor vehicles. It is also astonishing that we spent more than 3.5 billion dollars on the import of power generators, mobile sets, electrical appliances and other luxury items. US 0.6 billion were spent on import of mobile sets only. To control the trade deficit, we have to improve the competitiveness of the domestic industry. This strategy will not only improve the exportability of the industry but will also provide substitution of the imported products.