Karumuttu T. Kannan, Chairman of the Textiles Committee, under the Union Ministry of Textiles, has called for checking the export of cotton in unrestricted quantities.
He said a system of cotton exports in staggered quantities should be brought into force as unchecked exports was hurting the small and medium mills in the country.
Addressing an awareness workshop on ‘Rating of Ginning and Pressing factories’ here on Tuesday, he said that the last two years had seen the entry of multinational companies who, with their unrestricted access to credit in the international markets, were hoarding up cotton.
“This is resulting in India losing out to China and Bangladesh, which are our competitors for finished goods. While exports are necessary for those in the sector to get good prices, it should be staggered as small units have access only to limited capital,” he said.
India, which along with Pakistan, was the only country in the world to handpick cotton instead of using harvesting machines and hence, its cotton commanded global respect. The production levels had also increased manifold over the last few years.
However, Indian cotton also had high contamination levels owing to negligence in the harvesting process. If this were controlled, it could save crore of rupees spent on purifying the harvested cotton using German and Swiss technologies, said Mr. Kannan.
Delivering the presidential address, N. Mathivanan, District Collector, pointed out that textile exports contributed to one-third of the country's export earnings and 20 per cent of total Indian exports.
Productivity had increased from 27.9 lakh cotton bales of 170-kilogram bales in 1947-48 to 314 lakh bales in 2007-08, accounting for 21.1 per cent of world production, he said.
Speaking earlier, M. Britto Joseph, Chairman of Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) and member of the Textiles Committee, said the Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran was focussing on promoting modernisation and foreign collaboration in the sector.
N.A.K. Gopalkrishna Raja, president of Madurai Spinners Association Trust, said that while the textile sector had witnessed many changes, Ginning was one field that remained unchanged. Pradeep Gupta, secretary of the committee, and S. Ulaganathan, Director (export promotion and quality assurance) of the committee, spoke.