AHMEDABAD: The Southern India Mills’ Association has said government’s decision to lift the ban on cotton exports would suffocate the domestic industry. SIMA chairman S Dinakaran said this would create cotton shortage for domestic industry.
Anticipating Centre’s move to permit exports of additional 20 lakh bales, both SIMA and Confederation of Indian Textile Industry had written to the Centre. “The cotton export policy and the current cotton stock position in the country has come as a rude shock for the industry. Around 115 lakh bales of cotton has been allowed for export during the current cotton season as against the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) decision of 84 lakh bales, leaving a closing stock of 25 lakh bales.,” he said in a press statement.
Dinakaran said the CAB on April 18 had estimated that the closing stock would be only around 25 lakh bales with 115 lakh cotton bales already allowed for export. He said the working capacity of the mills is likely to improve from May in Tamil Nadu due to improved power supply situation.
“Cotton consumption would exceed 23 lakh bales per month as against the current level of 20 lakh bales,” he said adding that the Empowered Group of Ministry under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister had taken a decision to maintain at least 50 lakh bales of cotton as the closing stock during the cotton season 2010-11.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil referred to the cotton export decision as a pro-farmer measure. A high-level delegation of Congress had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and pressed for cotton exports.