Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) on Wednesday criticised the notification issued by Union Commerce Ministry on cotton exports yesterday, terming it as a premature announcement, which would be a threat for the domestic cotton textile industry.

In a statement, SIMA Chairman, J. Thulasidharan wondered why Agriculture Ministry has put so much of pressure on Commerce Ministry to make the announcement on cotton export in hurried manner, while almost two months were left over for the new cotton season to begin.

The announcement has created a panic situation in the cotton market the first day itself jacking up the price over Rs.1000 per candy, he claimed.

The multinational cotton traders have already started covering Oct/November cotton for Rs. 32,000 per candy under forward cover and the announcement would create artificial scarcity for cotton during October to December and hundreds of mills and equivalent capacities in the handloom, powerloom and garment sectors would be closed, throwing several lakhs of people out of jobs, he said.

Thulasidharan appealed to the Government to permit registration for only 10 lakh bales of cotton during Oct-December and another 10 lakh bales during Jan-March 2011 to enable the domestic industry to regain its competitiveness.