Union Textile Ministry favours for removal duties on Cotton

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Bangalore, Jul 7 (UNI) Union Textile Ministry has appealed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to do away both import and export duties on the raw cotton to help the farmers as well as the industry, Union Textile Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said today.

Addressing a press conference here he said in the wake of soaring prices of raw cotton in the global market farmers were now getting better prices for their produce, while domestic textile industry faced shortage of raw material.

Taking into consideration the losses suffered by farmers earlier due to non remunerative prices, the ministry had sent a proposal to the Prime Minister seeking withdrawal of export duty on Raw Cotton and as well as reduction in import duty on the same.

Claiming that both the proposal was under serious consideration, he said a positive action could be expected to be announced soon, Mr Vaghela said.

The minister said that the export of raw cotton from the country had rose to over 110 lakh bales with China being the chief importer of Indian cotton. Due to good price cotton growers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and other states had benefitted and this should not be choked with export duty.

The minister said that Government of India, is thinking of reducing the import duty on raw cotton to help mill owners, weavers and manufacturers of fabrics.

Due to popularity of GM crops more and more farmers in the country were opting for BT cotton seeds that offers better price as well as yield. During 2007-08 country produced over 310 lakh bales of cotton.

He said that the textiles export which were on a downward trend due to rupee appreciation, was now on the upswing due to remedial measures initiated by the Central Government.

The textile exports were to the tune of USD 20.5 billion in the last fiscal, and are expected to increase by 20 per cent during the current year, he added.

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