Due to the dire condition of the Pakistan textile industry following the devastating floods, a trade body in the country has approached the Shehbaz Sharif government to allow cotton imports from India. In the wake of losses suffered by cotton producers in Sindh and Punjab, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association is proposing trade with India through Wagah to meet its rising export orders, reported Dawn newspaper.

A total of 25 percent of the standing cotton crop had been damaged and there is a possibility of a raw material shortage in Pakistan, the newspaper said citing early estimates from exporters.

On Wednesday, the Pakistan government formed a committee that will negotiate with seed companies and facilitate them to introduce state-of-the-art cotton seeds into the local market.

This decision on forming a committee was reached during a key meeting to consult with stakeholders and review proposals for the enhancement of yield and area of cotton crops, the report said.

“We have approached Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to look into one of our demands,” Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Patron in Chief Khurram Mukhtar told Dawn on Wednesday. According to Mr Mukhtar, the actual calculations of cotton demand would be made after September 15.

“We might need to import 2.5 million bales from India,” he said.

Last month, reports emerged that Pakistan was looking to resume trade with India in the wake of record-breaking floods in the country.

Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had said that international agencies have approached the country’s government to allow imports from India through the land border.

However, the Pakistan government added that it can consider it only after assessing the supply shortage position and consulting with its coalition partners and key stakeholders.”More than one international agency has approached the govt to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border. The govt will take the decision to allow imports or not based on supply shortage position, after consulting its coalition partners & key stakeholders (sic),” the federal minister had tweeted.