National Assembly urges Government to arbitrate into the market to stabilise falling prices of cotton

National Assembly’s Standing Committee, Headed by Mohamad Akram Ansari, for the Textile Industry has urged the government to arbitrate into the market to stabilise falling prices of cotton.

The committee requested the government to direct the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to procure one million bales of cotton so as to bring stability in the prices.

Shahid Rashid, Secretary Textile Industry, said that growers had earned bonus profits when cotton prices had shot up to Rs9, 000 per maund (37 kg), which was now being traded at Rs5, 300 for the same amount.

After the conclusion of the meeting, the secretary textile said that even though cotton prices had drastically decreased compared to last year, the trend was still consistent when compared with the last three years’ average prices.

Rashid further informed that the Minister for Textile, Makhdoom Shahabuddin would seek the federal cabinet’s approval in the upcoming meeting. He said after the cabinet’s approval, a summary would be sent to the Economic Coordination
Committee of the Cabinet for formally allowing the TCP to buy the commodity.

Secretary Textile Industry further said that the industry will have to take the forecast seriously and have to obtain surplus cotton this year to remain immune from the price spike next year.

The standing committee also discussed the implementation status of the country’s first ever Textile Policy 2009-14 which is in its third year of enforcement. “The government has so far remained unable to fully implement the policy
mainly because of finance ministry’s refusal to provide committed funds”, said Rashid.

Rashid said the principal target of the policy was to double the rate of value from the present $1,000 per bale to $2,000 per bale over the next five years. It had been approved that the government would provide Rs200 billion over
the next five years, to achieve the objective.

According to Mahmood Hayat Khan, a representative of Pakistan Peoples’ Party, Cotton seed is being sold at Rs2, 200 per 40 kg in Punjab and at Rs1, 400-1,800 per 40 kg in Sindh, this low price is not enough for growers to meet
up their expenses so they are suffering from losses.