Pakistan News

PM urged to order forensic audit to break ‘cotton cartel’

PM urged to order forensic audit to break ‘cotton cartel’

LAHORE: Pakistan’s readymade garments industry has called upon Prime Minister Imran Khan to order a forensic audit of yarn producers to break their cartel in line with the actions taken by his administration against the sugar cartel.

In a letter addressed to the prime minister, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea) pointed out that the yarn producers have increased the rates of yarn by more than 40 per cent despite declining prices of cotton in the international market, hitting the apparel sector exports.

Prgmea Chairman Sohail Sheikh said the government will have to take serious steps to break the spinning industry cartel to prevent it from manipulating yarn prices in future. He also asked FBR and FIA to conduct raids on the warehouses of yarn dealers who have been hoarding huge quantities of yarn to create artificial shortages to manipulate rates in connivance with the manufacturers, taking advantage of low domestic cotton output.

Prgmea Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that the arrival of low-cost cotton yarn from India through land route as approved by the ECC could have broken the powerful textile cartel, shaking the monopoly of yarn producers to fix the rates artificially very high.

Prgmea demanded that the government should allow duty-free import of cotton yarn from all around the world for at least six months to arrest the commodity crisis that continues to hit the local market.

Globally, the prices of cotton have dropped significantly but the commodity is still costlier in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

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