Pakistan is one of the largest cotton-producing countries in the world – actually the fourth biggest having a share of 9.5 percent, as per 2017 figures. After the creation of Pakistan, industrial estates were established in different parts of the country where numerous categories of industries would operate. Textile industry was given top priority in establishing various types of mills and was greatly encouraged by the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan through loans on soft and liberal terms. The mill-owners were allotted plots in industrial areas at meagre costs. The principal purpose behind this policy was that they, in the first stage, will import and install cotton yarn mills and will subsequently add units to produce various types of yarn. Unfortunately, most of the mill-owners did not keep their commitment, and concentrated only on producing cotton yarn for which there was huge demand in big markets, like Japan and some European countries. But, still instead of producing more and more cotton yarn, these industrialists diverted the money they had minted to other trades. Through this very write-up, I request the present government to patronize and facilitate traders to establish more and more cotton yarn units for producing superior quality cloth not only for domestic consumption but also for exporting the same to the international market. If we install the latest machinery and offer competitive rates of the goods produced, our main competitor India will never be able to compete with us. There is also a huge market for coarse cloth of different thickness in the American market.
Some brief facts on cotton production and textile industry of the country are as under:
Pakistan’s textile sector is the fourth largest cotton-producer, sixth largest importer of raw cotton and third largest consumer of textile products. Our textile industry contributes approximately 46 percent to the total output or 8.5 percent of the country’s GDP. In Asia, Pakistan is the eighth largest exporter of textile products, providing employment to 38 percent of the workforce in the country. Nearly 85 percent of areas that produce cotton as raw material are in Punjab while the remaining 15 percent are in Sindh.
Pakistan’s textile industry ranks among the top in the world. Cotton-based textiles contribute over 60 percent to the country’s total exports, account for 46 percent of the total manufacturing and provide employment to 38 percent labour force. The availability of cheap labour and basic raw cotton as raw material for the textile industry has played a pivotal role in the growth of the textile industry in Pakistan.
The textile industry has a share of approximately 52 percent in total exports of Pakistan. The number of textile mills in the country was 521 in 2003-2004 while the total installed capacity was 10.1 million spindles and 114000 rotors. During 2006-09, Pakistan produced 2274 million tons of yarn and 1019 million square metres of cloth.
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A large number of textile mills are present in Faisalabad, Karachi, Raiwind (Lahore), and Hyderabad. Karachi is a metropolis and has also a seaport with transportation being much simpler than other cities. We can also induct foreign-qualified persons in the garments industry. All types of shirts, night suits and other garments can be exported all over the world. We can also rope in big multinational companies and foreign brands to get their garments manufactured in Pakistan.
Similarly, the woollen industry has to be given all the governmental support. We are producing a lot of wool in Balochistan and northern areas of the country. But, we have only a small number of units that produce woollen cloth. We can earn foreign exchange worth millions of dollars by exporting this cloth. We should cut our imports and start boosting exports. We should make our economy stable with present resources.