1. Agriculture World

Pakistan could resume cotton imports from India: Report

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
India Pakistan Flag
India Pakistan Flag

According to a media report, Pakistan may soon allow cotton imports from India via land routes, as the prospects for gradual restoration of bilateral trade relations have improved following the current ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control.  

According to The Express Tribune, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood may make a decision on whether to import cotton and yarn from India next week, citing sources in the Ministry of Commerce. They said that the issue of cotton shortage had already been brought to Prime Minister Imran Khan's attention, who also serves as Commerce Minister. 

According to the sources, after a principled conclusion is made, a formal order will be submitted to the Cabinet's Economic Coordination Committee. 

According to the reports, internal consultations have already begun, but the final decision will be reached only after the prime minister's approval. In response to a question about whether Pakistan was considering allowing cotton imports from India, Dawood told the daily, 'I cannot say yes or no at this point and will be in a better position to reply on Monday.' 

Trade relations between the two countries will help Pakistan minimise production costs and ensure secure food supplies. 

The two sides signed a cease-fire deal in 2003, but it hasn't been implemented to the letter or intent in recent years. 

Since a string of terror attacks in India carried out by Pakistan-based terror groups, relations between the two neighbours have worsened. 

After India revoked Jammu and Kashmir special status in 2019, bilateral relations worsened even further. Pakistan was outraged by the move, which resulted in the downgrading of diplomatic relations and the expulsion of India's High Commissioner in Islamabad. Pakistan has also severed both air and land ties with India, as well as transport and railway services. 

According to the report, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research expects just 7.7 million bales to be produced this year, considering an annual projected consumption of at least 12 million bales. Cotton ginners, on the other hand, have forecasted an output of just 5.5 million bales this year.  

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, there is a minimum deficit of six million bales, and Pakistan has imported approximately 688,305 metric tonnes of cotton and yarn, costing USD 1.1 billion. Imports are also expected to cover a deficit of approximately 3.5 million bales. Users were forced to import cotton and wool from the United States, Brazil and Uzbekistan due to a shortage. 

Imports from India will be slightly less costly and arrive in Pakistan in three to four days. The daily claimed, citing businessmen who trade in these commodities, that importing yarn from other countries was not only costly, but also took one to two months to hit Pakistan. According to the report, a delay in yarn import could jeopardise timely delivery of export orders. The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), on the other hand, is pressing the Pakistani government to ban the import of cotton and yarn from India. Few millers have already hoarded cotton and are now charging higher prices, according to an industry insider, and import will dampen their short-term earnings. 

Aptma claimed in a letter to Dawood that the import of yarn from India would have a direct effect on cotton prices in Pakistan. 

According to the Aptma, "the cotton sowing season is currently beginning in Pakistan, and the expected decrease in cotton price due to import of yarn from India is approximately 10-15%, discouraging farmers from sowing cotton." India said on Thursday that it wants regular good relations with Pakistan and is committed to peacefully resolving all bilateral problems. 

Prime Minister Khan welcomed the ceasefire deal with India on Saturday, saying Islamabad is ready to move ahead with talks to settle "all unresolved problems." 

Like this article?

Hey! I am Prity Barman. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters