ISLAMABAD: After the ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control (LoC), the prospects for a gradual resumption of trade relations with India have been raised.
A Commerce Ministry source told the Express Tribune that trade advisers could take a decision on cotton imports from India next week. According to sources, the issue of cotton shortage has been brought to the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan, and after a decision in principle, the matter will be taken up with the Cabinet’s Economic Co-ordination Committee.
Sources said that internal deliberations have started in this regard but the final decision will be taken after the approval of the Prime Minister who also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Finance.
Asked about cotton imports from India, trade adviser Abdul Razzaq Dawood said he would be in a position to say something on Monday.
Pakistan had suspended trade relations with the neighboring country after New Delhi unilaterally decided to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. However, the resumption of trade relations between the two countries could lead to lower production costs and a continued supply of foodstuffs.
It should be noted that Pakistan is facing a shortage of cotton this year. The Ministry of Food Security and Research had estimated the production of cotton at 12 million bales this year, but the production was 7.7 million bales. However, the cotton ginners estimated that the production of cotton will be only 5.5 million bales. Thus, the country is facing a shortage of at least 6 million bales of cotton.