Islamabad: In a bid to cut down costs for its dominant textile industry and make it more competitive, Pakistan has permitted the import of Indian cotton through the Wagah border.
Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has decided to permit the cotton imports from India through the Wagah border and from its western borders to get the same from Uzbekistan.
The decision to import cotton would be implemented in phases under which long staple cotton would be imported from India in the first phase.
However, the decision to import short staple cotton would be taken after carrying out the study that will determine if the farmers’ community in Pakistan will be affected or not, media reports here said.
The meeting also asked the Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock to immediately install the quarantine facilities at Wagah border, required for import of cotton.
The Ministry would also install the quarantine facilities at Torkhum and Chaman border for the cotton to be imported from Uzbekistan.
Pakistan is presently importing cotton from India through sea routes. Owing to sea routes, the importers are incurring an additional cost of Rs200 per mound.
Pakistan’s requirement stands at 16 million bales of cotton against its production capacity of 13 million bales.