Taking up cudgels on behalf of the cotton textile industry, Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that no incentive was provided for promoting export of raw cotton.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, he pointed out that competitiveness of Indian cotton textile products was largely dependent on the cotton price and said that any kind of incentive for export of raw cotton would make cotton textile items from India highly uncompetitive in the global market.

Noting that the Government has already increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for cotton substantially, he said, “the higher MSP is a sufficient [enough] tool to safeguard the interests of cotton growers.”

The letter comes in the wake of cotton exporters seeking continuation of the Commerce Department’s scheme to provide duty free scrip at five per cent for export of raw cotton. The scheme was in operation till last month.

In his letter, Mr. Maran noted that when the scheme was in operation, Indian cotton was available at a much cheaper price for spinning mills in countries like China, Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia than those here in India.

“Production of cotton textile items is seen rising during the [past] four months in our country. In this economic resurgence, any kind of incentives for export of raw cotton shall be highly uncompetitive vis-à-vis our competitors like China, Taiwan, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan,” he added

Mr. Maran has also taken up the issue with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and has called for a meeting with the textile industry here on Wednesday.

The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, the Cotton Corporation of India, the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India, the Northern India Textile Mills Association and the Southern India Mills Association have been invited for the meeting.

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