Cotton export quota too little, says VJAS
NAGPUR: The Union government's decision to give permission for an additional export quota of 10 lakh bales has been described as "too little, too late" by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a group fighting for the farmers' cause.
"We are very much disappointed by the half-hearted effort of the government," said Kishore Tiwari of VJAS. He said that this year, after the domestic consumption there was a surplus of nearly 100 lakh bales in the country. "Despite a good international demand, the government put a cap on cotton exports at 55 lakh bales. This was done due to pressure from the strong textile lobby that had influenced Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran," Tiwari alleged.
"We had been demanding that at least 50 lakh additional bales be allowed for export. But the government has now allowed only 10 lakh bales. This will hardly benefit cotton growers who have already suffered a huge loss as the confusion over lifting export ban led to collapse of open market price of cotton by 50%," said Tiwari.
Ideally, cotton should be brought under open general license, he said. It took more than two months for the government to allow additional exports. Farmers having poor holding capacity had to sell their stock at the low prices ruling the domestic market.
"Farmers in Maharashtra have been agitating since October seeking lifting of export ban on cotton. Those from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh also joined the agitation but all this failed to move the textile lobby which successfully resisted any move for export relaxation," Tiwari alleged.
"Central government should intervene urgently and lift all restrictions on export of cotton and yarn so that farmers get higher price for their produce. Right now there is a state of confusion on whether only Gujarat farmers will be allowed to export as the Congress unit of that state had intervened and finally got the export sop," said Tiwari.