Trade regime with India intact: Pakistan Minister

No notification issued to stop huge quantity of Indian raw cotton at Karachi Port, says Khurram Dastgir.

Pakistan has said that trade regime with India remains unchanged despite tensions in the bilateral relationship.

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir made the remarks at the Senate Standing Committee on Textile Industry in response to a point raised by Committee Chairman Senator Mohsin Aziz, who said a huge quantity of Indian raw cotton had been stopped at Karachi Port, state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Responding to the question, Mr. Dastgir said on Friday that the government has not issued any notification in this regard.

However, the Minister said the government had put restrictions of importing 5,00,000 cotton bales in a year through Wagah border while there was not any such restriction on Karachi port.

Mr. Aziz said the government should instead ban value-added products from the neighbouring country in a bid to protect the local textile industry.

Textile woes

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.

Mr. 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.