Cotton output achieved by 'lighter bales

ISLAMABAD The governments presented figures regarding cotton production this year are wrong as the original production did not cross 10 million bales against the claimed of 11.55 million bales. Ibrahim Mughal, President of Agri Forum Pakistan while talking to TheNation said that international standard for cotton bales is 176 kilogram but the government and especially the Punjab government calculated the cotton production at 155 kilogram per bale. He said that this way the production cannot be increased and this is just number scoring game. He said that bad policies of the govt whether federal or provincial are damaging the cotton production that once went to 14.5m bales in the country and for so many years after that it did not cross even 12 million bales. As it is also stated in official papers that the countrys requirement of cotton is more than 14 million bales so it has to face 3 to 4 million bales shortfall every year that also cause drainage of foreign reserve from the country. Mughal also said that the wrong weight calculation of bales also created complication for the businessmen and services sector especially for the banks as they offer loans against the bales and it is understood that its weight is 176kg as per intl standard. Banks came to know at the eleventh hour that the bales in the factories who they were about to sanction loans were not weighing more than 155 kg but they were going to sanction loans considering it 176 kg. He said that for the next crop as well the government might not be able to achieve the target as around 150 thousand acres sowed cotton seems to be destroyed in the very start due to rains. Wheat crop also suffered some losses but those are not of severe nature will not give a loss in production more than 0.4 million tons. The government this year had expectation of wheat production around 24 million tons and that might decrease to 23.6m tons now due to rains.

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