Gujarat's cotton ginners to continue strike

Gujarat Cotton
Vadodara, May 20: The cotton ginners of Gujarat will continue their six-day-old strike till the Centre takes a positive stand on their demand to lift the ban on cotton exports, their association said on Friday, May 20.

The ginners are demanding an urgent meeting of the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) for taking a decision on lifting the ban, which they say was hurting their business.

A delegation from the state met central ministers and leaders in Delhi on Friday, May 20, to discuss the issue, said Bharatbhai Vala, the President of the Saurashtra Ginners Association.

Talking to PTI on the phone after meeting Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Vala said, "The response of these leaders was very positive and they have assured us that the issue will be discussed at the CAB meeting."

However, the strike will continue till the Centre sets a date for convening the CAB meeting, he said.

About 1,000 ginning units have been on indefinite strike since May 15 in support of their demands. They are protesting the Centre's cap on exports of cotton at only 55 lakh bales.

The government stopped cotton exports last year, 2010, to control soaring prices of the commodity in the country.

"It is very necessary to lift the ban to save the cotton farmers of Gujarat," who account for 40 per cent of total production and 50 per cent of exports, Vala said.

A delegation from Gujarat headed by State Congress President Arjun Modhwadiya, Vala and representatives of the ginners had met Mukherjee, Maran and Patel in Delhi on Thursday, May 19.

Modhwadiya said these leaders assured that they would convene a meeting of the CAB at the earliest.


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