Setting speculations at rest, Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Wednesday rejected the demand of the cotton industry for a temporary ban on exports of raw cotton and ruled out any immediate increase in the duty drawback rates for apparel exports.
On the issue of ban on cotton exports, he said, “there is no need for any ban on cotton exports at the moment. Cotton production this year is estimated to be 305 lakh bales. The consumption by the domestic industry last year was 240 lakh bales. There will be no shortage. There will be only surplus, which can be exported.”
He dismissed worries expressed by the industry that the production estimates of 305 lakh bales, which had been made by the Cotton Advisory Board, may not come true and the actual output may be only about 280 lakh bales because of unseasonal rains at the fag end of monsoon.
He also noted that arrivals of cotton into the market were expected to increase in the second week of next month
He, however, added that the Government would closely monitor the situation and if there was a problem, corrective measures would be taken. “The industry need not worry. We will take quick action if required.”
On the demand of apparel exporters for a hike in the duty drawback rates, he said “the Government has already announced three stimulus packages for the industry. At the moment, we are not considering any increase in duty drawbacks.”
Earlier, releasing a book on the problems and prospects of the jute industry written by a former senior official of the Textile Ministry,
Mr. Maran rued that even as the industry continued to use outdated technologies, it was not coming forward to take advantage of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme.
“The industry has to modernise. It can not just expect the Government to keep supporting it.”