Unhappy with the financial unviability of their assignment, the 150-odd cotton ginning mills in Haryana will this time refrain from working for the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), their apex body said on Thursday ahead of the arrival of the crop by next month-end or early October.
The ginners are seeking revised prices in the wake of cost escalation in terms of power tariff, labour charges and other input costs.
The Haryana Cotton Ginners’ Association said it has demanded an increment of Rs 100 per bale for cotton ginning (one bale contains 170 kg of cotton). “We got Rs 470 per bale for saw gin and Rs 540 per bale for roller gin last year,” its president Sushil Mittal told Business Standard. “We have demanded Rs 570 per bale for Saw gin and Rs 640 for Roller gin from CCI for the crop to arrive this September/October.”
The CCI invites tenders in various states for cotton ginning and the rates are decided on the basis of cost of ginning and the ginning capacity available in the state. The rates are low in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as compared to those in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The rates offered in upcountry range between Rs 470 to Rs 540 per bale, while in other states it is between Rs 650 to Rs 700 per bale.
Sources in CCI conceded there was a lack of uniformity in the ginning rates offered across the country. An official said open tenders are invited and are evaluated on the basis of input costs. “Another major factor is the demand and supply of available cotton bales,” he told Business Standard.
Since the states in North have three times the required ginning capacity, the price is determined at a level lower than in the states that have lesser number of ginning factories in proportion to the available supply of cotton. The prices for Rajasthan and Punjab will remain the same as last year.
The Punjab Cotton Ginners’ Association said these prices were unviable. “We,” said its president Bhagwan Bansal, “have sent a written communication to the CCI head office (in Mumbai) to relook the matter.”
With a bright outlook for cotton due to favourable weather and increase in acreage, the ginners are now expecting a higher volume of business and a more proactive approach by CCI to save the farmers from distress-selling if the downward trend in cotton continues.