MULTAN     -     The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has strongly protested against what they described as government’s unjust cotton policies and demanded for increase in cotton import duty and its imposition for whole year.

Talking to the media here on Monday, PCGA Chairman Mian Muhammad Javed Sohail, Vice Chairman Hafiz Abdul Latif, Sohail Harral, Sheikh Asim and other office bearers said that the government did not form any comprehensive policy for the promotion of cotton as a result of which this crop and the industries based on it were on verge of destruction. They pointed out that the government completely failed to offer protection to the cotton ginners and growers. “The textile owners import cotton from abroad which renders local growers and ginners rather helpless,” they added. They said that the government imposed mere five per cent cotton import duty for just four months which was withdrawn after these months and the textile owners were given free hand to import cotton. They lamented that the textile mills were the only buyers of locally produced cotton but when the textile millers were given permission to import cotton, there was no other buyer of local cotton. They said that the cotton ginners spent their entire assets to purchase cotton from growers within three months. “If the ginners do not purchase cotton from the growers, they will not be able to sow the next crop wheat,” they further pointed out.

They said that the government lifted cotton import duty every year and played anti-grower role. They warned that every year 50 to 100 ginning factories went bankrupt due to poor cotton policies of the government. They demanded the government to form even policies for all stakeholders involved in cotton trade so that ginners and growers could come out of current crisis.

They demanded the government to enforce cotton import duty for whole year and remove duty from pesticide import. They further asked the government to reduce the prices of agricultural inputs for bringing the cost of production down. They warned ginners to avoid unnecessary stocking and keep in view the demand from buyers. They claimed that the textile millers had finalized plan to import five million bales. They demanded the government to take immediate action to prevent textile mills from importing cotton.