Ministry seeks state protection, support price for cotton crop

The Ministry of Textile Industry has sought state protection and support price for the cotton crop to arrest its continuing fall, as crop production came down from 14 million bales to 10 million bales during the last two years. The country is spending huge foreign exchange earnings on cotton imports due to a shortfall in the cotton crop to meet local industry requirements, said Hassan Iqbal, Secretary Ministry of Textile Industry  while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee.

The Secretary Textile Ministry said that contrary to sugarcane and wheat, cotton crop has no state protection. In the case of the bumper cotton crop, there is no guarantee that the government would procure it and this situation is prompting a reduction in cotton cultivation area, and hence this is negatively affecting its production. No legislation is required for this purpose and the cotton production can be improved only through administrative instruction.

The Committee backed the ministry's request and directed for presenting a proper framework which would be discussed at the highest level. The Committee further recommended for reducing input cost i.e. giving subsidy to increase cotton production.

The Committee also recommended that the government should ban the establishment of sugar mills in cotton growing areas. The Committee further recommended that incentives should also be given to the cotton industry to develop the interest of farmers in cotton growing to add huge revenue to the government exchequer.


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