By Asad Cheema
ISLAMABAD: FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel SVP, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the largest foreign exchange earning sector is in trouble, therefore it should be rescued otherwise country will face heavy losses.
He said that the textile sector which is the second-largest job provider is facing a host of issues while the cotton ginning sector is on the brink. Mian Zahid Hussain said that bales worth Rs20 billion are lying under the open sky as there is no buyer as many textile mills are closed due to prolonged lockdown and other reasons.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that textile mills have not paid Rs30 billion to ginners due to closure depriving them of the ability to pay the growers. The former minister noted that the issues of ginners could be resolved if TCP buy the unsold cotton stock enabling ginners to pay the growers.
He said that sales tax should be withdrawn on cottonseed, oil cake, etc. while withholding tax refunds stuck since a decade should be released. Mark up should be waived from first Jan to 30th of June 2020, ginners should be allowed to sell the pledged stock, one year time should be given to adjust bank guarantees and tax should be exempted on the stock lying with ginners, he demanded.
He said that electricity should be provided to this important sector at the rate of Rs10 per unit and other relaxations should be granted to save it from collapse. Delay in rescue will restrain payments to growers which will be a disincentive for the planters forcing them to opt for other crops which will damage the targets which will hurt the entire cotton economy which is behind 60 percent exports and millions of jobs, he said.