Friday, February 11, 2011

Cotton Export Cap Stays At 55 lakh Bales-TIMES OF INDIA

Cotton Export Cap Stays At 55 lakh Bales-TIMES OF INDIA

Ramu Bhagwat, TNN, Feb 12, 2011, 02.05am IST

Read more: Cotton export cap stays at 55 lakh bales - The Times of India

NAGPUR: The decision of Committee of Secretaries (CoS) in New Delhi to keep the cap on cotton exports at 55 lakh bales and reject state's request to increase it to 75 lakh bales has come as a shock for farm activists and cotton experts in the state. In January, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had persuaded the Union government to increase the export quota and also the deadline. Immediately after the market learnt Justify Fullof CoS decision, cotton prices that were touching an all-time high of Rs 7000 a quintal in mandis of Vidarbha, started sliding.

"The rates fell by at least Rs 300 a quintal in the domestic market on Friday. Around 20-30% of cotton crop is still with farmers, much of it came as bonus because of post-monsoon rains in October-November. These farmers were expecting to make good money and wipe out old losses in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the exports restriction would mean the domestic prices would come down," lamented Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti.

Slamming the Union government decision, he alleged that the bureaucrats were influenced by strong lobbying by textile mill owners who want cheap raw material to increase their profit margins.

"This decision is shocking. Why put a restriction when there is good demand in global market and benefits of good price can be passed on to cotton farmers who have suffered for over a decade because of unremunerative prices," asked Vijay Jawandhiya, a Shetkari Sanghatana leader from Wardha. "If the Union government does not reconsider the decision, we will launch an agitation from February 18," Tiwari warned.

Chairman of the Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Co-operative Marketing Federation N P Hirani said he was yet to get official information about decision to restrict the exports at 55 lakh bales. "If such a decision has been taken, it's unfortunate," he said. According to Hirani, cotton growers may not get another such chance of high open market prices domestically and globally.

"Floods hit crop in China and Pakistan while crop area was cut down in the US, the other major producer. So it's a rare chance that Indian farmer got this time as cotton crop in India was exceptionally good. Moreover, when 83 lakh bales were exported last year, why should the Centre scale it down in a good crop year," asked Hirani.

He said the government should review the latest crop situation and revise the exports target in couple of months as cotton would continue to arrive till April end.

1 comment:

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