Call to safe­guard rights of cot­ton grow­ers

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Chair­man of the United In­ter­na­tional Group Mian Shahid on Sun­day asked the gov­ern­ment to take mean­ing­ful steps to safe­guard cot­ton grow­ers from any un­to­ward situation in the fu­ture lest it bring down the an­nual pro­duc­tion.

He also de­manded steps aimed at safe­guard­ing the rights of planters who are in pain due to col­lapse of cot­ton crop. Mian Shahid said that low cot­ton out­put is hurt­ing millions of fam­i­lies in the farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties and it is to drag ex­ports down and GDP which is un­ac­cept­able.

The re­duced out­put is re­sult­ing in im­ports es­ti­mated to be to the tune of four bil­lion dol­lars which will hit forex re­serves, he said.

The cot­ton group, back­bone of the econ­omy hold 8.5 per­cent share in GDP, fetches 12 bil­lion through ex­ports while pro­vide jobs to 40 per­cent of the labour which needs im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion of the gov­ern­ment.

Rea­sons be­hind the low cot­ton out­put in­clude sud­den and un­pre­dictable rains, draught in some ar­eas, low cot­ton prices and unchecked hike in prices of in­puts and use of sub­stan­dard seed, he in­formed.

Au­thor­i­ties dis­counted lo­cal wis­dom to pro­mote ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied seed terming it pest re­sis­tant but it failed to with­stand pink boll­worm and white­fly at­tacks while sprays and medicine to tackle the pests were not avail­able in the mar­ket. Call­ing im­me­di­ate ac­tion, he said that de­lay can hurt the econ­omy.

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