The government should sell it to domestic market, says SIMA

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) plans to sell 15 lakh bales of cotton it had procured this season to exporters and domestic mills.

The CCI had purchased nearly 20 lakh bales at the minimum support price, mainly from the southern States, at the beginning of the current cotton season. It now plans to sell five lakh bales to domestic buyers and 10 lakh bales to exporters and international buyers.

An official of the corporation told The Hindu on Wednesday that the CCI had submitted its proposal to the Union Ministry of Textiles for approval, which was expected in a couple of days.

The corporation has proposed to go in for e-tendering/e-auction. Buyers would have to register with the CCI and pay a deposit. Even small textile mills would be able to participate in the e-tendering as they would be able to purchase minimum 500 bales from the corporation. The minimum quantity that the exporters could purchase from the corporation was 5,000 bales, the official said.

The price of Shankar-6 variety of cotton on Wednesday was Rs. 39,000 a candy (356 kg). It went up to Rs. 40,000 a candy last week. With reports that the CCI is expected to sell the cotton, prices have eased during the last two days. Meanwhile, the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) reiterated its demand that Government agencies should sell the cotton only to the domestic industry. Registrations for cotton exports has crossed 80 lakh bales, and if the Government agencies also exported cotton, it would hit the domestic mills, the association chairman S. Dinakaran said. “The role of cotton procurement agencies is to protect the interest of farmers when they are in stress and help the user industry,” he said in a press release.