The amount of textile machinery and equipment imported by companies in Pakistan increased considerably over the past four months, official figures released on Wednesday revealed.

Imports of such equipment increased by more than 47 per cent in dollar terms and around 70 per cent in rupee value. Between July and October this was worth over $159 million or more than Rs10 billion compared to $108.14m or Rs5.97bn in the year-ago period.

Industry officials said imports of textile machinery and equipment have picked up since 1999-2000 when a bumper cotton crop was harvested and tycoons in textile industry reaped massive profits by getting their input at virtually a throw away price.

They attributed this trend to anticipated changes in the anticipated scrapping of textile export quotas in 2004 and greater investment in weaving, dyeing, bleaching and stitching machinery.