On the persuasion of Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) has allowed release of seized 2971 cotton bales, imported from India some six weeks ago, as a special one-time case.
Despite opposition from Plant Protection Department, the Minfal has permitted release of four importers' consignments, as a special one-time case, an official in Minfal told Business Recorder on Saturday.
Din Textile Mills, Suraj Textile Mills, Nishat Chunian Textile, and Amin Textile Mills had imported 2971 bales cotton lint from India through Wahga border about 40 days back, but Plant Quarantine Dept, Lahore, seized the consignments being without NOC from the concerned department.
All four importers, through Ministry of Commerce, sought one-time permission for release of the imported cotton lint from India, but the attached departments of Minfal seized the consignments, as it is not allowed to import cotton lint through any route other than sea. They said that demurrage charges were increasing the cost of the commodity, which would eventually increase the cost of value-added products.
"The ministry cannot allow import of cotton lint from countries like India and Central Asian States through land route, as the quarantine stations other than Karachi are not fully equipped for treating the imported lint, like fumigation", the official said.
The Minfal suggested to the concerned ministries not only to review the quarantine rules at the respective entry points but also avoid such practice in the future, the officials added. "Yes, the Minfal has no objection on importing cotton lint from anywhere but only through sea routes", said Minfal Secretary Ismail Qureshi.
The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has estimated 12.4 million bales against the cotton production target of 13.8 million bales for 2006-07 while Cotton Assessment Committee in its last meeting on November 20 had repeated the first estimate.
The millers are expecting shortage of 1.5 million bales during the current season if Minfal's estimate does not meet the target. Hence, they are pursuing textile and commerce ministries for allowing import of lint particularly from India.
Copyright 2006 Business Recorder
Source Citation:"Release of stuck up Indian lint allowed." Business Recorder (Dec 10, 2006): NA. General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 24 Sept. 2009
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