Saturday, March 31, 2012

Massive Protest of Vidarbha Cotton Farmers and Traders against New Tax and Stalled Export

Massive Protest of Vidarbha Cotton Farmers and Traders against New Tax and Stalled Export


Massive hunger strike of cottontraders, farmers to demand abolish of new 5 % purchase tax on cotton imposed by Maharashtra and commerce ministry stringent rules of revalidation of RC for cotton export, has urged Govt. to pay all compens

ation for on going economic losses to farmers and traders due to wrong policies of export and taxation at Agrasen Bhav

an Pandharkawada today on March 31, 2012 demanding restriction free cotton export special incentive for cotton export, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) informed (photo attached).

Farm activist Suresh Bolenwar ,Tukaram Meshram,Ankit Naitam,Moreshwar Watile And Mohan Jadhav and cotton trader

s association office bearers Suvidhi Surana ,Rikhab Mutha,Chandrakant Chokhani,Kishore Khera and Vijay Kondawar spoke at protest rally which attended by farmers widows Aprana Malikar ,Manju Ambarwar and Bebitai Bais and others,Tiwari added.

Five million cotton farmers who are facing cotton crop failure is being subjected ti very heavy economic losses due needless restriction put by commerce ministry on export and recent announcement of Maharashtra Govt. to imposing 5% tax on all raw cotton purchases in maharashtra and now cotton traders, cotton processing pant owners and exporters to have come together and decided to intensify stir if demands are not addressed soon, Tiwari announced in the rally.

Cotton prices in the state fell further by around Rs. 200 at Rs. 3,400 a quintal following the state government's budget announ

cement of imposing a value added tax (VAT) of 5% on cotton. The additional tax burden has hit the market sentiment which was already low with the virtual stalling of exports since March 5.While on the one hand the state government has decided to extend a relief of Rs2,000 crore to around 5 million cotton farmers after crop failure in more than nearly 40 lakh hectares, it took a harsh measure

to put 5% VAT on cotton.

Prices which were ruling around Rs4,200 in the first week of March have steadily declined to Rs 3,400 in the current week. "This will only add to economic losses of the already distressed cotton growers," said Kishore Tiwari (VJAS). He has urged the state to roll back the VAT proposed in the budget. In other

cotton growing states it was no more than 2%, he claimed.

The director general of foreign trade (DGFT) literally stalled cotton exports by sea and road since March 5 leading to crash in raw cotton prices. VJAS has demanded that the group of ministers (GoM), which is likely to meet on April 3, should review the

situation and lift all restrictions on cotton exports.

"When cotton arrival as per data is only 242 lakh bales as against 278 lakhs bales of last year and at least 120 lakh bales awaited in the markets, such restrictions will expose more than 7 million cotton growers, traders and exporters to huge economic losses and will damage Indian cotton trade. Just to protect a few garment manufactures, the DGFT should not be allowed to dictate its terms," said Tiwari.

"When domestic demand is just 20 million bales as against production of 33 million bales there is no reason to restrict exports. The move reeks of corruption," Tiwari alleged. "India, is a major exporter of cotton but a cartel which monopolies the garment export is lobbying for the ban since 2010 although India is signatory to the WTO," Tiwari said.

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