Sharma rebuts Modi’s claim on tax on cotton exports


Textile Minister Anand Sharma has clarified that central government till date has not imposed any tax on export of cotton. On the contrary, cotton exports are eligible for claiming 1% duty drawback. In his strong rebuttal to the statement made by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on meat exports Sharma said in his communication to Modi, “I was at the public meeting at Rajkot on April 4 that the central government was taxing export of cotton while offering subsidies. I am shocked that a Chief Minister of a large state had made an unwarranted statement without ascertaining the facts of the matter.”

Timing of Sharma’s letter was crucial when the group of ministers led by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was meeting on Monday evening.

Sharma said: “You would recall that I had written a detailed letter to you on March 14 outlining the contours of cotton export policy. The policy strives to strike a fine balance between the interests of all stakeholders in the cotton value chain— farmers, ginners, traders, yarn producers and exporters.  This year, India has exported 100 lakh bales of cotton, the highest ever, as against 78 lakh last year. Till date, no tax has been imposed on export of cotton.  On the contrary, cotton exports are eligible for claiming 1% duty drawback.”

Further, the textile minister said that Government of India was alive to the interests of the cotton farmers and has already authorized Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to intervene in the Mandis of Gujarat for carrying out commercial operation for buying 15,000 bales of cotton per day at a rate of Rs 4,400 per quintal and Grade-A Kapas at Rs 4,500 per quintal. This was well above the prevailing Minimum Support Price and would ensure that the interest of farmers is fully protected while assuring supplies for domestic yarn industry.

Sharma further made it clear that the central government does not give any subsidy whatsoever for meat export either, contrary to your understanding. “I wish you would be restrained and judicious while making public statements on government policy. It would be unfortunate to view matters of public policy from the narrow prism of partisan politics,” he hoped.