Trade with India remains unchanged despite strained bilateral ties, Pakistan’s commerce minister Khurram Dastgir said, amid reports that a huge quantity of Indian raw cotton had been put on hold at Karachi Port.
Dastgir made the remarks at the Senate Standing Committee on Textile Industry in response to a question raised by committee chairman senator Mohsin Aziz, who said a huge quantity of Indian raw cotton had been put on hold at Karachi Port, state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
Responding to the question, Dastgir on Thursday said that the government has not issued any notification in this regard.
However, he said the government has placed a restriction on importing 500,000 cotton bales in a year through Wagah border while there was not any such restriction on Karachi port.
Pakistan this year surpassed Bangladesh to become India’s top cotton buyer.
Aziz said the government should instead ban value-added products from the neighbouring country in a bid to protect the local textile industry.
The meeting was informed that the local textile industry was in a dilapidated condition and its exports were on the decline due to a number of issues including high prices of gas and electricity, high tariffs on import of input materials for industries, lack of progress on restructuring of bank loans and failure to revive sick units.
Dastgir said the government was committed to resolve all the genuine issues of the textile industrialists and it had already met a number of their demands including provision of uninterrupted electricity and gas to the industry.
It was decided that a meeting would be held in Karachi to resolve the issue of banking sector with the textile industry in which representatives from the textile industry, the State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan and private banks would be invited.