Published: Apr 01, 2021, 15.32 (IST)
The Pakistan government has rejected Thursday an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) proposal to import cotton from India, reported ARY News.
The rejection comes a day after the ECC gave a go-ahead to the import of cotton, cotton yarn and sugar from India.
Yesterday, amid fears of a shortage of industrial input in textile production, the Textile ministry of Pakistan had recommended the lifting of a ban on the import of cotton from India to bridge the raw material shortfall the country’s textile sector was facing.
Pakistan suspended trade ties with India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019. Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two Union territories in August 2019.
In May 2020, Pakistan lifted the ban on the import of medicines and raw material from India to ensure there is no shortage of essential drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first step of reversing the complete suspension of trade with India.
There is a minimum shortfall of six million bales and Pakistan has so far imported roughly 688,305 metric tonnes of cotton and yarn, costing USD 1.1 billion, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. There is still a gap of about 3.5 million bales that needs to be filled through imports.
Due to a shortage of cotton and yarn, the users were compelled to import them from the United States, Brazil and Uzbekistan.
Imports from India would be far cheaper and would reach Pakistan within three to four days. Importing yarn from other countries was not only expensive but would also take one to two months to reach Pakistan.