Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Decision to cap cotton exports opposed-TIMES OF INDIA

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Decision to cap cotton exports opposed

TNN | Apr 11, 2012, 05.13AM IST

NAGPUR: The decision of Union commerce minister Anand Sharma to disallow additional cotton exports has been opposed by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers' group spearheading the cause of cotton growers.

"This is a fresh assault on cotton farmers who are living in distress because of poor returns for their dwindling crop. It will also affect the country's credibility in global markets as traders and exporters will not be able to fulfill their commitments," said Kishore Tiwari of VJAS. He said because of poor demand in domestic market, the farmers were not getting the right price for cotton this year. Farmers, traders and exporters are left with no alternative but to resort to public agitation for demanding restrictions on cotton exports, said Tiwari.

"Until further orders, there will not be any fresh registrations," Sharma told reporters after a group of ministers met to review cotton exports on Monday in Delhi. Though India is the world's second-largest producer, shipments of the fibre were banned in March despite the fact that cotton output is expected to hit a record high of 34 million bales in 2011-12.

Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has openly expressed his anguish over needless move of commerce ministry to put export ban keeping his ministry in dark. Now, PMO intervention is must for immediate lifting of the ban on cotton export, Tiwari said. VJAS, in its plea to the prime minister, argued that India even when it was a net cotton deficit country has allowed cotton exports under Open General License (OGL). It is ironical that when there was surplus, restrictive policies are in place and fresh export has been stalled.

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