Coimbatore, July 3 : Thousands of workers of textile industry here took to streets protesting against export of raw cotton and hike in prices of cotton yarn.
Workers of various textile association participated in the massive rally in Erode district on Wednesday demanding ban on cotton exports.
Cotton prices in the domestic market shot up by 35 per cent during the last one year. The vital raw material for the textile sector has disappeared from the market because of the speculative operations of the international traders.
The textile industry of the State has observed a steep rise of 25 to 40 per cent in yarn prices within six months.
"The industry is being severely affected because of the raw cotton and raw material price hike. Price of raw material has been exuberantly increased for past few months," said Madivannan, President, Tamil Nadu Textiles Industries Joint Action Committee.
The Joint Action Committee also appealed to the Government to withdraw 10 per cent customs duty and four per cent additional customs duty on the imports of the commodity for the current year.
Industrialists fear that if the situation persists and the government takes no action the textile manufacturers will be forced to close down.
"We are afraid that if the present situation continues, all our processing industries will face gradual slowdown. One day, it will be a closedown phase. So something has to be done at the raw material status. So, the government of India has to control yarn price by various means," said Vajiraavel, a textile industrialist.
According to experts, the prices of raw material have shot up in the domestic market mainly because of the uncontrolled export of cotton and heavy hording of yarn by the international traders in the domestic market.
The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) has estimated a record production of 31.5 million bales of cotton for the current season. It has also projected the exports for the current year at 8.5 million bales as against 4.7 million bales last year.