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

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LAHORE: The Pakistani ready-to-wear industry has called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to order a forensic audit of the yarn producers in order to break their cartel in accordance with the measures taken by his administration against the sugar cartel.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea) pointed out that yarn producers have increased yarn rates by more than 40 percent despite falling cotton prices on the international market, hitting the garment sector exports.

Prgmea Chairman Sohail Sheikh said the government will need to take serious steps to break the spinning industry cartel to prevent it from manipulating yarn prices in the future. He also called on FBR and the FIA ​​to conduct raids on the warehouses of the yarn merchants who have accumulated huge amounts of yarn to create artificial shortages in order to manipulate rates in collusion with the manufacturers, taking advantage of the low national cotton production.

Prgmea’s chief coordinator, Ijaz Khokhar, said the arrival of cheap cotton yarns from India by land, approved by the ECC, could have broken the powerful textile cartel, shaking the monopoly yarn producers to set artificially very high rates.

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

Globally, cotton prices have fallen significantly, but the product is still more expensive in Pakistan.

Posted in Dawn on April 9, 2021

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