MULTAN -  Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has strongly opposed the duty-free import of cotton from India describing it destructive to Pakistani economy.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, PCGA Senior Vice Chairman Suhail Mehmood Haral, Ginners Group Chairman Haji Muhammad Akram and former chairman Shehzad Ali Khan said that more than two million bales of cotton are lying in ginneries as unsold stock and textile miller are reluctant to purchase this stock. They said that there was no justification for lifting ban on imports of ginned cotton from India at the cost of local grower.

They stressed the need for continuation of ban on the imports from India on hold through Wagah and Karachi port. "Farmers have also expressed concern over lifting of ban on the import of cotton from India by the government.

The Ginners Group chairman urged the government to impose complete ban on cotton imports from India via Wagah Border, as it was detrimental to the interest of cotton growers of the country. He expressed concerns that if the imports of cotton lint continued, it would affect the cotton production in the country during next season, adding that last year cotton production declined 30 percent, so if appropriate measures are not taken, the position would deteriorate further and affect the production.

He said that the Ginneries and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) had sufficient stock of cotton lint available so there was no justification to import the commodity from India.