KARACHI - Pakistan has become the second largest importer of the used clothes as a backbreaking double-digit inflation in the country continues to render even the higher income groups as cash-strapped. With purchasing power of the inflation-stricken buyers constantly decreasing, a four-year period ranging from 2006 to 2010 saw Pakistan jumping five notches up to the second position on the list of nation states importing the second-hand cloths. Russia happens to be the world’s largest importer of worn clothing. The economic observers deem the situation alarming saying this trend indicates two things: First, more people are going under poverty line in the country.
Second, if the current inflationary climate persists the textile manufacturers would see a massive slump in the sale of their low-capacity productions. “This shows that a major chunk of the people is going below poverty line and that the new cloths have become unreachable even for the middle income groups,” senior economist Asfar Bin Shahid viewed. According to official figures, during last four years the imports of worn clothing have been rising robustly marking an upsurge ranging from 24 to 69 per cent. To cater the ever increasing demand in domestic market, the country’s importers had to increase the volume of their imports of used clothing from FY2008-09’s $18.272 million to $23.420 million in FY2009-10 and then $29.014 million last year in FY11. This shows a respective increase of 28 per cent and 24 per cent.