Govt sets target of 15 mln bales of cotton for 2018-19: Commerce minister

APP72-17 ISLAMABAD: October 17 - Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile & Industry Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood holding press briefing. APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17 (APP):Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textiles, Abdul Razzaq Dawood Wednesday said the government had set a target of 15 million bales of cotton for 2018 -19 as compared to current 10.8 million bales production.
The government’s priority was to ensure the import of quality cotton and provide quality seeds and pesticides to the farmers for increasing their per acre yield, he said while addressing a press conference here at the Ministry of Commerce and Textile.
“We are starting a campaign for ‘Contamination free cotton’ to improve the quality of local cotton and to evolve export quality cotton in order to increase revenue through exports,” he said.
The minister said textile was important sector which contributed 60% of country’s exports, now the trade of textiles had declined.
He said low quality seeds, pesticide and lack of modern technology in textiles were the main causes of decline in this sector and low production of cotton in the country.
He said upcoming visit to China, “We would get support in agriculture research, including Basmati rice and fruits.”
He said, “We want to get market excess from China, European Union, America, Japan and other southeast and pacific countries for increasing exports of the country.
“China is ready to give us duty free excess in its market through Free Trade Agreement in Phase-II, now China is agreed to lower the tariff on 70 items to give market excess to Pakistan.”
“We would negotiate with Japan and Canada to get market duty free excess for increasing our exports, “he said.
In regional trade, “We are losing our trade share as compare to Vietnam, Bangladesh and India .”
He said soon the government would negotiate with all stakeholders to give five year plan for textile industry to evolve long, medium and short term.
He said, “We are negotiating with All Pakistan Textiles Mills Association for giving better price to farmers, but they are not ready to pay good price to the cotton farmers. The government want to introduce the trading culture and stop the under invoicing to harm the country’s trade and economy.”
Replying to another question, he said the government had decided to revive the Engineering Development Board (EDB) to concentrate on engineering products for increasing exports in this sector.
“We have planned to evolve a new roadmap for the promotion of engineering industry,” he said adding that it was the top priority of the government to increase engineering exports including exports of auto parts, motorcycles, air conditioners and other products.
The government, he said, would give priority for promotion of export-led growth and reduce dependence on imports. “We have identified several sectors to boost country’s exports,” he said.
“Primarily, we are focusing on increasing exports in engineering and Information Technology, and innovated technology through enhancing their competitiveness in global market. We would achieve exports target and additional exports for economic development and prosperity,” he said.
To a question, the adviser said the government was committed to enhancing exports and increasing manufacturing in engineering sector.
“We would focus on promoting “made in Pakistan” goods and discourage imports,” he remarked.
He said quality of governance was declining in every government sector, which needed to be improved for ensuring the development in the country.