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Shipping companies refuse to waive demurrage & detention charges despite on-going Covid-19: Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi

Shipping companies refuse to waive demurrage & detention charges despite on-going Covid-19: Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi

MULTAN: Shipping companies refuse to waive any detention and demurrage charges despite on-going pandemic situation and clearly defying government directives. Business community is facing shortage of liquidity due to prolonged lock-down and balance of payments has been disturbed.

Global Pandemic situation caused severe threat to textile and cotton industry and situation has been deteriorating after cancellation of orders from Europe and foreign countries. Pakistan would also expect to bear loss of almost $2 billion from cotton import and government should take immediate action to save the textile industry.

It was stated by former President Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman Multan Dry Port Trust Khawaja Jalal-ud-Din Roomi while talking with Customs Today on current business crisis.

He said that price of cotton should be immediately announced after consultation with the stock holders of the country and government should take concrete measures to ensure the supply of high quality seed to farmers to boost production of cotton, as well as to eliminate counterfeit agricultural pesticides.

“Pakistan is an agricultural country which exports cotton to the world. Due to lack of agricultural policies from government we are consuming more than $2 billion cotton from outside, which is a dangerous situation. We have to bring our farmer back to our feet and bring it back to the cotton by encouraging them to cultivate cotton.

Government subsidy which is being provided to farmers may not be reaching them properly. Therefore, farmers up to 50 acres should be given direct cash assistance for the cultivation of cotton. “The cotton pickers are paid more than Rs.1 billion each year and if they are more harvested, these rural women can get more compensation,” he said. The Cotton Research Institute is currently a white elephant and should be given special monitoring to those who introduce new seeds. Similarly, the seed corporation of Pakistan should be fully audited for better quality of seed. It is the job of the Seed Corporation of Pakistan to work to introduce new batches of seeds which enhance production and quality of cotton. Seed Corporation performance has been below the mark after giving them lot of finances.

The cotton crop was destroyed by the violation of the zones of the graces and sugar Industry has demotivated cotton growers due to substandard seeds,” said Khwaja Jalaluddin Romi. The production of wheat was deliberately developed in the cotton areas which not only uses water but also provides farmers with timely payments and then subsidies to the people who use the cow.

We requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to start a cotton-intensive programme to save farmers of South Punjab. Besides, give a push to Baluchistan and cultivate the barren land to enhance production. Government should give people security ton farmers for the promotion of agriculture. The cotton fiber that grows in South Punjab is also larger and fine quality but we need attention of government to equip farmers with latest technology.

Due to current global pandemic of Corona, the small and medium enterprises should be directed to provide employment to unemployed people in Pakistan and abroad. Government should provide youth with a low-cost loan for setting up of small businesses.

The government of Punjab is making efforts for the revival of business after the Corona situation and Punjab Chief Minister is also focusing on agriculture sector to boost the national economy. Businessmen are also willing to cooperate with the government in all ways.

Government should take immediate steps to supply standard seeds as 40% of our labour is associated with textile sector .Pakistan has almost 90% of exports from textile sector and Cotton is one of the major raw material used in the production of textile outputs. Federal and Provincial Government should add textile sector in their top priorities to save textile sector

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and other sectors must pay regulation of the cotton Cess. The government should give a matching grant to the research institutions for uplifting of Cotton production in the country. There have been many meetings with the government on the development of agriculture, especially the production of cotton, and it is time to announce and implement the decisions of these meetings immediately. Similarly, Chief Minister Punjab is working hard to end the crisis and we need to focus on it more.

He demanded that research institutions and agricultural universities be activated to enhance production of cotton. The target of cotton production should be set more than 15 million on a war footing to achieve it. The procedure should be carried out to protect humans from the effects of agricultural pesticide. Agricultural scientists should be given facilities to work on new researches according to the environment friendly.

The Ministry of Food Security should monitor cotton crops and the cotton crops should be included in the Prime Minister’s Emergency Programme. Government should work by making off-season management against Pink Sandy. This should be followed by a policy of minimum dependence on agricultural pesticide.

The operation will be carried out by declaring the crop zone to protect cotton belt and Good quality cotton region is to be separated for boosting production. Government should introduce solutions for water scarcity and heat-bearing zones to protect crops.

APTMA is fully committed to buying every crop of cotton according to the market and working together to cultivate the better Quality Cotton and provide the farmers with the best of the best seed. We asked government several times to focus on Cotton Industry for saving farmers and textile sector because we are working on slogan to grow cotton to save the economy.

He also demanded from government to take action against those shipping companies by cancelling their operational licenses which are defying their decisions and refuse to waive holding charges of shipments during lock down. Business community is not in a position to pay any additional charges for the demurrage and detention.