Chief Minister writes to Prime Minister

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to not allow export of cotton till domestic requirements are fully met.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister stated that the State was one of the leading textile producers and the textile sector, apart from contributing a substantial part to exports, provided employment to millions.

The sector employed handloom weavers and manual workers who were able to maintain a basic level of subsistence only with their daily earnings.

A sharp rise in the price of cotton would result in yarn prices going up considerably and this would put the handloom sector in peril, he said.

Utmost importance

Therefore, it was of utmost importance to ensure that the domestic requirements of cotton were fully met before permitting any export of cotton, Mr. Karunanidhi said. Moreover, cotton was being mainly exported to countries such as China, Pakistan and Bangladesh that were competing with India in international textile trade, he pointed out.

Unless availability of cotton at reasonable prices to domestic producers of textiles was ensured, value-added textile products such as cloth hosiery and garments would become uncompetitive in the global context.

It was also of greatest importance to ensure that the best cotton was available at reasonable prices to domestic textile producers to keep cloth prices under control, thus reining in inflation, Mr. Karunanidhi said. Considering the low stock of cotton available in the country and the rise in price of cotton in the recent weeks, he requested the Prime Minister not to allow its export.