21:58:30 local time CAMBODIA
20140216 * Authority warns as unionists ready to convince 100, 000 workers to join nationwide strike:
100,000 leaflets would be printed and distributed next week to garment workers in the country to urge them to join nationwide strike to put pressure on the government and the Cambodian courts to release 21 workers in jail and to increase the minimum wage of the workers up to USD160 per month.
The leaflets were ready to be printed and be delivered to the workers on March 12 after n
Nine labor unions and associations agreed already on the printing and distribution of the leaflets to invite the workers to join the strike, which is schedule for March 12.
Fa Sali, President of Coalition of National Union, said Saturday that the leaflets would contain eight lists of demands such as the request for the release of imprisoned protesters and the increase of minimum to USD160 per month.
20140214 * Garment unions regroup, plan peaceful strike in March:
Cambodian garment factory workers will be urged to skip work for a week in mid-March in a series of escalating non-cooperation measures over wages and conditions.
Unions representing garment industry employees in Cambodia are appealing to workers to boycott overtime from February 24 to 28, which they hope will force the government and factory owners to take their demands seriously.
The general will take place on March 12 when, instead of demonstrating on the streets or outside factories, workers will be urged to simply stay at home.
Eight of Cambodia’s largest non government-aligned unions agreed Wednesday on a series of civil disobedience measures designed to disrupt production in Cambodia’s largest export industry.
The unions’ strategy avoids violating the ban on public demonstrations established after last month’s unrest, when military and security forces beat and fired upon demonstrators supporting the strike, killing five and injuring dozens.
“The unions care about the life of their members, and it’s very hard for the police and soldiers [to respond] when the people simply stay at home,” said Moeun Tola, the head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center.
22:58:30 local time INDONESIA
* Indonesia – minimum wage must equal living wage now!:
At a press conference today in Jakarta, Said Iqbal president of IndustriALL affiliate FSPMI and the KSPI confederation, together with Jyrki Raina, secretary general of IndustriALL Global Union, sent a clear message to the Indonesian government: the minimum wage must be raised to a living wage and all workers must benefit from social security.
IndustriALL Global Union secretary general Jyrki Raina expressed the global union’s full support for the Indonesian trade unions’ campaign for continued increases of minimum wages to secure a living wage, the social security reform and limiting outsourcing in favour of decent jobs.
At a meeting with the director general of the Ministry of manpower on Thursday, Jyrki Raina conveyed the message that wage increases are nothing to fear.
“Last year, we saw increasing minimum wages in many countries around Asia. Unions in Bangladesh managed to get a 77 per cent increase in 2013, and the minimum wage in China is already higher than in Indonesia. It is high time that Indonesian workers and their families get their share of the profits they actually help creating.”
President of the FSPMI and the KSPI Said Iqbal said that for 2015, the unions would ask for a 30% increase of the minimum wage.
20:58:30 local time BANGLADESH
20140214 * New wage implementation- RMG workers`human chain:
Two readymade garment workers organizations staged human-chain demonstrations on Friday demanding implementation of minimum wages and immediate payment of compensation to Rana Plaza victims.
Bangladesh Readymade Garment Industry Workers` Federation and Bangladesh United Workers` Federation jointly agitated in front of Jatiya Press club.
Bangladesh United Workers Federation president Principal Tofazzal Hossain announced that Rana Plaza victims were still awaiting compensation.
Bangladesh Garments Industry Workers Federation Union president Tauhidur Rahman said that although the new wage structure for readymade garment workers had been announced in December 2013, not steps had been take to enforce it.
Workers Federation president Nazma Aktar, general secretary Tahmina Rahman and executive president Golam Kudrat-e-Khuda participated in the human chain program.
20140214 * Fire at Hazaribagh tannery factory:
A fire broke out at a tannery factory at Hazaribagh in the capital this afternoon.
Four firefighting units doused the blaze, which originated at Karim Lather around 2:35pm, after half an hour of frantic effort, officials at Fire Service and Civil Defence told The Daily Star.
No casualty was reported from the fire till 3:40pm when the report was filed.
Reason behind the flame could not be known immediately.
20140214 * Hazaribagh tannery washing plant catches fire:
A fire broke out at a tannery washing plant in the capital’s Hazaribagh on Friday, UNB reported.
Fire Service sources said the fire originated in Karim Leather & Washing Plant around 2:35 pm.
On information, seven fire fighting units from the city rushed in and doused the blaze after hectic efforts for nearly one and half hours.
None was reported injured in the blaze, the sources said.
The loss caused by the fire could not be known immediately.
In another incident, a fire broke out at a fourth floor flat of a six-storied building on Road 7/A, Dhanmondi, around 2:40 pm.
Two fire fighting units rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after about half an hour.
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20140214 * 4 separate fire incidents in capital:
Devastating fire at a leather factory in Hajaribagh
Four separate incidents of fire have been reported in the capital on Friday afternoon.
A total of 20 units of fire-fighters from different stations, Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) and the headquarters doused the blazes that originated in four different areas of the capital.
In Hajaribagh: A devastating fire broke out at a leather factory in Hajaribagh around 2:30pm in the afternoon.
According to the FSCD officials the devastating fire broke out at Karim Leather, which is said to be used to wash jeans, at around 2:30pm.Police and witnesses said the fire engulfed the entire factory within a short period of time due to having chemicals inside the factory.
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20140215 * Fire at Karnafuli EPZ in Chittagong:
A fire has broken out at a shoe factory at Karnafuli Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Chittagong on Saturday afternoon.
The fire broke out in Sing Sang factory around 1pm, Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defence Deputy Assistant Director Mohammad Jasimuddin said.
Three fire fighting units from Bandar, Agrabad and EPZ fire services are trying to douse flames, he added.
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* Outsiders blamed for arson attack on Standard Group RMG factory:
One of the four probe committees has held outsiders responsible for the recent arson attack on the Standard Group readymade garment (RMG) factory at Gazipur, people involved in the investigation said Saturday.
A group of workers and labour leaders, most of them outsiders, who gathered at ‘Balurmath’ area (adjacent to the factory) for a meeting and processions are mainly responsible for the fire, they said.
The committee also found that a group of factory workers, initially not involved in the attack, later joined the arson attacks following rubber bullet firing by the Industrial Police personnel.
The committee is one of the four, headed by the additional district magistrate of Gazipur and formed to find out the actual reasons of the attack.
The committee also found that the problem with the local defeated commissioner candidate, rumour that sweater factory workers would remain outside the newly-announced wage hike, problems with the mid-level management and involvement of some labour leaders and organisations might be the reasons for the attack.
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* Accord starts RMG factory inspection this week:
‘It would not be wise if factory inspection is conducted with the American perspective in mind as the sector has matured without adequate plans in three decades’
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh will launch first phase inspection involving fire and structural integrity this week and it will inspect 200 apparel factories, from which its signatories source products, Accord said.
“We will begin apparel factory inspection this week to perform fire, electrical, and building structural safety inspections at Accord brand producing factories,” Rob Wayss, Executive Director (Bangladesh Operations) of Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune via email. “In the first phase,200 RMG factories would be inspected,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) plans on having a meeting with Accord officials to share perspective on Bangladesh today.
According to Rob, the Accord has hired four international engineering firms to conduct initial inspections and is working to recruit another 25 Bangladeshi engineers, who will be appointed as Accord staff.
“The international firms the Accord has selected have committed an adequate number of engineers and have provided viable plans to complete 1,500 inspections by September 2014,” Rob added.
* BGMEA, BKMEA bosses dodge RMG safety taskforce meeting:
MoLE to seek MoC step to ensure their presence
None of the directors of the BGMEA and the BKMEA are attending the meetings of government’s taskforce on labour welfare and occupational safety in readymade garment (RMG) sector causing delay in implementation of important decisions, sources said.
“Mid level officials of the top apparel bodies attend the meetings instead of directors. They can’t give decisions, rather seek time again and again delaying implementation of various steps taken for workplace safety,” taskforce chairman and joint secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) Faizur Rahman told the FE.
“We have written to BGMEA and the BKMEA several times to ensure participation of nominated directors in the meetings. But they are not responding positively,” he said.
Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Nasir Uddin and director of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) GM Faruque are nominated members of the taskforce.
The taskforce chairman said the body meets once a month. So far 12 meeting of the taskforce were held where various important decisions regarding improvement of working conditions and occupational safety were taken.
But the directors are not attending the meetings nor are they informing the taskforce chairman or officials.
* BGMEA opposes retailers’ plan:
The apex body of Bangladeshi garment makers has taken a stance against inspection standards set by two platforms of foreign retailers and brands, saying many of their clauses are not included in the national building code and these will be too strict for small and medium factories.
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a European forum, and the US-based Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety have already finalised the standards.
They were set to start inspection within next one month or two, according to their officials in Dhaka.
But this has become uncertain as the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) last week protested the codes of the Accord and Alliance in letters to the commerce and labour and employment ministries.
“In the letters, I urged the government to re-fix the standards in accordance with the national building code so that every factory can meet the standards,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said yesterday.
Many small and medium factories will not be able to meet the standards set by the foreign bodies and those units will lose the business for impose of their own rules in inspection, he said.
The BGMEA boss added many of the clauses of the Accord and Alliance are not included in the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC).
“We want the Accord and Alliance to fully follow the BNBC,” he told The Daily Star over the phone. “We do not agree on any code which is not in the BNBC.”
* Subtle policy stops RMG workers to change workplace:
The owners of the garment factories are adopting various tactics to stop workplace changing practice of the workers. The BGMEA is playing main role as its ‘ring leader’ in this ‘foul game’. This resulted in the down trend rate of changing of workplaces from 22 percent to 2 percent in last two months.
A number of labor bodies made the allegations while talking to journalists.
The workers generally acquiring skills are in the practice of changing workplaces according to their choice for more benefits. This rate was 22 to 25 percent in a month. This change practice has sharply come down to 2 percent from 22 percent in last two months. The labor leaders claim that the BGMEA is playing the lead role behind this labor deceiving policy.
The owners have been planning ill-conceived tactics of switch over practice of the workers from last November. Because of this workplace change practice help enhancing the income of the workers.
The workers can also get rid of the oppression carried out on them by changing their workplace. On last November the BGMEA leaders had several secret sittings with the owners.
After several meetings they formulated a decision that after the announcement of minimum wages the owners would not appoint any sizeable number of workers rather the ‘helpers’ would be retrenched.
* Moving out of rented space remains a major problem:
The readymade garment (RMG) owners are finding it difficult to shift their factories from buildings they are sharing with others mainly due to scarcity of industrial land and its high price, industry insiders said.
Shifting garment factories from shared buildings is now a key demand of the foreign buyers to ensure a safe and decent working condition.
Buyers said they are facing various obstacles to their tasks of ensuring fire safety and other compliance-related issues in the factories that are housed in shared buildings. Incompetence of the building management committee is one such obstacle.
Workers’ safety system, firefighting equipment, evacuation mechanism, proper installation of machines and a healthy work environment are among the social compliance issues.
“A good number of RMG factories are housed in rented buildings due to scarcity of industrial land and its high price”, Abdus Salam Murshedy, a former BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) president and the present head of the Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told the FE.
* Business leaders want to get back GSP:
Business leaders on Friday dismissed the apprehensions that GSP facilities in the US market would not be revived, saying that most of the conditions set by the US government have been met with the utmost sincerity.
“Remarkable progress in ensuring compliance issues has been achieved. The government and the business sector have initiated laudable progress in implementing the US action plan,” said Md. Hatem, first vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA). If the US government does not revive the GSP facilities to Bangladesh, it would be a matter of regret, he added. Hatem urged the US not to merge politics with the GSP issue.
He asked the US to give back GSP facilities to Bangladesh and to include RMG products in the scheme. “As you have suspended GSP facilities over the unsafe working environment in the country’s RMG factories, you should give the facilities back and include RMG products in the scheme if the RMG sector implements the suggestions of the US action plan,” he added.
* Continue dialogue besides fulfilling conditions for GSP:Prof Mustafiz:
A leading economist today called upon the government to continue its efforts to fulfill the conditions besides continuing dialogue with the US government to revive the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
“Bangladesh should try its best to fulfill the conditions and at the same time it has to work for improving the Dhaka- Washington bilateral political relations to get back the GSP,”Professor Dr Mustafizur Rahman, the economist, told BSS on Saturday.
Prof Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), an independent think-tank, said Bangladesh needs to continue dialogue on issues with the US government, if any, to address revival of GSP.
* Conference of Garments Sramik Front held:
Politicians and garment labour leaders on Friday at a programme in the capital said the Awami League-led government was turning autocratic after the ‘unilateral’ national elections held on January 5.
Khalequzzaman, general secretary of the Socialist Party of Bangladesh faction, said the major section of voters had rejected the national polls of January 5.
Terming the elections ‘farcical’, he said democracy was not safe in the hands of the government.
He called on the government to initiate dialogue with political parties for holding an inclusive election with the participation of all political parties.
* Govt, local industry need to work together for better RMG: Study:
The government and the local industry should work together to lead a transition to a better managed and better regulated garment sector that remains competitive over a long term, suggests a recent study.
The study, conducted by the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University Stern School of Business (NYU Stern), said enhancing the dignity of work and the sustainability of the garment sector in Bangladesh will require more than foreign solutions.
Terming the BGMEA a ‘powerful political and economic entity’ in Bangladesh, the research submission said, “This is a moment for it (BGMEA) to lead to ensure the sustainability of what has been the country’s most profitable export industry.
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* Govt accepts Chinese proposal to set up EZ in Chittagong:
The government has responded positively to a Chinese proposal for building an economic zone (EZ) in Chittagong.
The proposed zone will exclusively house units originating from China.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) at a meeting last week agreed in principle on a proposal for setting up the Chinese economic zone in the port city, official sources said. But the location of the proposed zone is yet to be decided.
If implemented, the port city will have four economic zones with the country’s first export processing zone (EPZ) at Chittagong in 1983.
Besides, the government also approved another private EPZ at Rangunia in Chittagong but it is yet to be started.
However, the Chinese government sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) more than a month back in this connection. Later, a meeting on the issue was held at the Economic Relations Division in January.
20140216 * Take effective measures to ensure workers’ welfare: PM:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday directed the Labour and Employment Ministry to take effective measures for the welfare of the workers by creating a congenial working atmosphere and ensuring appropriate wages for them.
It is one of the main responsibilities of the government to ensure minimum wages for the workers, a big strength for the country, she said in her introductory speech at a meeting with the high officials of the Labour and Employment Ministry at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
Sheikh Hasina, also in-charge of the Labour and Employment Ministry, directed the officials concerned to complete within the stipulated time the unfinished or under implemented development programs and projects under the Ministry, which were taken during the last tenure of her government.
She said that though there is no scope to allow ‘trade union’ in the EPZ areas of the country under the existing law, but steps should be taken to ensured the welfare of the workers.
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THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE
* Rally ask govt to immediately compensate Rana Plaza victims’ families:
Leaders of RMG workers on Friday at a rally in the city demanded of the government to compensate the families of the Rana Plaza victims immediately.
They said the families of the Rana Plaza victims need the compensation very badly as they are passing through untold sufferings after losing their earning family members in the Savar building collapse.
Garments Sramik Trade Union Kendra organised the rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Friday afternoon.
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* 40 likely to face charges in Rana Plaza disaster:
The CID has so far taken statements from 600 witnesses
The Criminal Investigation Department is likely to press charges against 40 persons including the owners of the Rana Plaza building, and the five garment factories within it, in two cases this month.
The traumatising incident of April 24 last year – one of the worst ever industrial disasters – claimed the lives of more than 1,135 people and injured over 2,500 workers as they were reportedly forced to continue work even though cracks had developed in the building. The nine-storey building also housed a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex.
The CID has so far taken statements from 600 witnesses. After scrutiny by the prosecution and the officials involved, the charge sheet will be submitted to a Dhaka court, confirmed Assistant Superintendent of Police (CID) Bijoy Krishna Kar.
He said all the detained 21 persons were involved with the construction of the building while the others would be charged for helping the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, flee or giving him shelter. Among those, eight persons, including Rana’s father, Abdul Khaleque, have been granted bail.
20:28:30 local time INDIA
* Sonia promises uniform minimum wages:
Uniform national-level minimum wages will soon become a reality, All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi has said.
Addressing a State-level rally of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) at the Asramam Maidan here on Saturday, she said the United Progressive Alliance government was taking steps to amend the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 for the purpose.
The rally was organised to herald the two-day all-India working committee meeting of the INTUC which will be held here from Monday. Ms. Gandhi said a separate fund for the social security and welfare of workers from the unorganised sector was being set up.
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* Maharashtra govt gives Rs 10,000 to upgrade powerlooms:
The state government has sanctioned Rs 10,000 per loom for upgrading plain powerlooms in Malegaon.
Textile minister Arif Naseem Khan said on Wednesday, “The cabinet has sanctioned Rs 5 crore to provide financial assistance to 5,000 powerlooms in the first phase. The scheme will run simultaneously with the In-Setu scheme announced by the central government for Malegaon and Nagpur.”
In October 2013, the central government had approved Rs 150 crore to be spent in six textile clusters, including Malegaon and Nagpur, under the In-Setu scheme for the next five years. The scheme involves an upgradation kit worth Rs 30,000 to be attached with plain powerlooms to improve the quality of fabrics. The central government would provide 50% cost of the upgradation kit.
20:28:30 local time SRI LANKA
* Garment factory employee, 19, ‘steamed’ to death at workplace:
A 19-year-old garment factory employee died of burns after being exposed to a steam machine at his workplace in Dabagahawatte, Minuvangoda, on Wednesday, a corner’s inquiry was told. The victim, M.P.R. Dileepana was a machine operator in a garment factory in Minuwangoda.
Lasantha De Silva, another machine operator at the factory, who witnessed the incident, at the inquiry, said that, on the morning of the fateful day, Dileepana had informed the supervisor of his inability to work because his fingers were injured, but the supervisor had ordered him to work.
* Boom in footwear and leather exports:
Sri Lanka’s booming footwear and leather sector has recorded the highest export growth in recent history.
“Our footwear and leather exports have shown a strong growth trend. In 2012, exports from this sector stood at $ 30 million but in 2013 it registered $ 51 million, an increase of 63%,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen at the inauguration of the sixth edition of Footwear and Leather Fair at the BMICH recently.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Industry and Commerce, Deputy Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake and members of the diplomatic community from 13 countries were present. Exhibitors from Egypt, France, Korea, Kenya, Germany, Seychelles, Iran, the Indian Footwear Component Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA) and one Chinese took part in the event, which was first held in 2007.
19:58:30 local time PAKISTAN
* No social security benefits for industrial labour:
The PESSI has 836,085 employees registered with it, which stands at mere 2.5 percent of the total employees eligible to get the all-important cover. The PESSI is catering to slightly over five million family members at the moment.
The figure of unregistered employees has been calculated by computing the total number of employees (earning between Rs 5,000 and 15,000) against Punjab’s population percentage in the aggregate population of Pakistan, 184 million, as mentioned in the 2011 national census.The Labor Force Survey of Pakistan puts the total registered employees, falling in the already mentioned category, at 43.5 million across the country. The Punjab forms 48 percent of the total population, and if this percentage is juxtaposed against the total figure of 43.5 million unregistered employees all over Pakistan, the province’s share comes out to be over 20 million.
These unprivileged employees are working in the textile sector, hotels, small businesses, small, medium and big industrial units, brick-kiln, cement industry, communication and infrastructure industry (roads, transport, cellular companies etc.), markets and the cottage industry.
* Textile: Industry opposes increase in sales tax:
The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has strongly opposed the proposed increase in sales tax and changes in tax regime, saying that this will create a negative impact on textile exports.
PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood said that this move would adversely affect exports at a time when huge amount of sales tax refunds are already stuck up with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
“The textile export sector has already been reeling under severe energy shortage, hike in tariffs, and high cost of production,” he said, adding that in the prevailing economic conditions, a rising cost of production is the core issue for textile exporters.
PTEA office bearers urged the government to drop the proposal for increase in sales tax and demanded the resumption of the zero rating schemes in the better interest of the textile industry to increase country’s exports along with attracting investment.
* PTEA opposes increase in sales tax:
Pakistan Textile Exporters’ Association (PTEA) strongly opposed the proposed increase in sales tax and changes in tax regime as it would negatively impact the textile exports and would further squeeze industrial activities.
Talking to newsmen, PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood and Vice Chairman Adil Tahir said the move would adversely affect exports at a time when huge amount of sales tax refunds was already stuck up with the FBR and exporters were facing liquidity crunch and such changes in the tax regime would add fuel to the fire.
“Textile export sector has already been reeling under severe energy shortage, hike in tariffs, squeezed industrial activities and high cost of production,” they said. They said there would be no level playing-field to honest taxpayers instead it would only result in blockade of their capital in the shape of refunds, increase cost of doing business and shrink export turnover.
* Post GSP plus status scenario: government neglects value-added sector: Apparel Forum:
Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum Shahzad Azam Khan said the government is neglecting facilities to the value-added sector after the GSP plus status from the EU. He said no steps for improvement of value-added sector had been taken by the government so far.
Instead, he added, the FBR was proposing to increase sales tax from two percent to five percent, which will open up floodgate of flying invoices in domestic industry.
He said the value-added export sectors were treated under zero-rated regime world-over and it was only Pakistan where the value-added sector was being clubbed with domestic manufacturers.
Shahzad Azam said provision of energy supply to the value-added sector was also not on top priority of the government and gas supply to the processing and hosiery units had been restricted. He lamented that there was no direction of the government in facilitating the value-added sector and urged the Prime Minister to take stock of the situation.
* Increase in sales tax will hit GSP+ benefits: APTPMA:
All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) has said that all benefits and relief under GSP Plus scheme which are being expected by the value added textile industry are in doldrums and danger, because govt is reviewing sales tax regime to increase its rates from 2% to 17% on the value added textile processing industry.
These grave apprehensions were expressed by APTPMA through a PR issued on conclusion of an emergent combined meeting of APTPMA Executive Committee of Faisalabad and Lahore/Gujranwala Regions held at APTPMA House, Faisalabad, and chaired by Sheikh Muhammad Ayub, Central Chairman APTPMA.
In the emergent meeting, Regional Chairman APTPMA Faisalabad Region, Khalid Habib Sheikh, Regional Chairman APTPMA Lahore/Gujranwala Region, Hafiz Abdul Waheed, former Central Chairmen of the Association, Maqsood Ahmed Butt, Ajmal Farooq, Mian Aftab Ahmed, Sheikh Muhammad Amjad, and a large number of office-bearers and members of the executive committee attended the meeting.
* Pakistan will help Afghanistan in cotton sowing, ginning: PCGA chief:
“Pakistan will help Afghanistan in sowing cotton on maximum area, establishment of ginning industry and up-gradation of existing ginning industry, supply of certified and well-germinated seed and promotion of bilateral trade between the two states.”
Chairman of Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA) Mukhtar Ahmed Khan Baloch said this while exchanging views with a delegation of Afghan ginners here on Saturday.
Aasim Saeed Sheikh, Vice Chairman of PCGA, suggested that Pak-Afghan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PACGA) be formed which was endorsed by the delegation. Head of the Afghan delegation Muhammad Abdullah Munib said there were 35 ginning factories in Afghanistan and cotton was sown on 7,000 acres of land and there was a potential to increase the cotton production.
He said cotton prices almost were higher than those in Pakistan, adding Pakistani machinery was mostly erected in ginning factories; but, some preferred Indian Machinery. “However, we would use Pakistani machinery in future to up-grade the ginning sector.”