Export of cotton via Wagah boon for the state farmers

Chandigarh, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:37am hrs
The decision by Pakistan permitting import of cotton from India through Wagah border in Punjab has come as a boon for cotton growers of Punjab. According to a cross section of cotton growers, Cotton Ginners association and industrialists, Punjab is expecting historic and never before crop this season according to Bhagwan Bansal of Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association.

The move comes by the Pakistan government concerned over the plight of textile industry in Pakistan, it allowed Indian cotton to enter the country through land route.Pakistan is presently importing cotton from India through sea routes. Owing to sea routes, the importers are incurring an additional cost of Rs 500 per quintal. Pakistan's requirement stands at 16 million bales of cotton against its production capacity of 13 million bales.

Bansal told Punjab was likely to produce 30,00,000 bales of cotton this year as against 26,00,000 bales of cotton last year. In rupee the value of 30,00,000 bales is Rs 3,000 crore. Domestic consumption in Punjab by industry is around 20,00,000 bales. The state would have about 10 lakh surplus bales this year. The "Shankar Six" type cotton grown in Punjab is popular in Pakistan and Punjab it can export it to Pakistan via Wagah route. Punjab will fill the gap of Pakistan by routing cotton exports through Wagah border near Amritsar.