News » National

Updated: January 10, 2011 08:23 IST

India to revisit cotton export ban to keep onions flowing

Sujay Mehdudia
Comment (6)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
This January 7, 2010 photo shows tomato-laden trucks outside the Attari-Wagah border post near Amritsar after Indian exporters refused to export vegetables to Pakistan protesting its onion export ban.
This January 7, 2010 photo shows tomato-laden trucks outside the Attari-Wagah border post near Amritsar after Indian exporters refused to export vegetables to Pakistan protesting its onion export ban.

India is understood to have told Pakistan that it is ready to lift the ban on cotton exports if the latter resumes its onion exports through rail and land routes.

Official sources in the Commerce Ministry said this was conveyed to Islamabad by the External Affairs Ministry. “The Indian side has conveyed to the Pakistani counterparts that it was ready to revisit the cotton export ban and ceiling issues, if the gesture is reciprocated by Pakistan through the removal of the ban on the movement of onion,” a senior official said.

On January 6, Pakistan banned onion exports to India by land. This pushed up onion prices once again to the Rs.60-70-a-kg range. Around 300 trucks carrying 3,000 tonnes of onion to India had reached Wagah near Amritsar, but were not allowed to cross the border.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma termed the ban shocking and said the issue would be taken up with Islamabad.

Pakistan's textile industry has been badly hit by the suspension of cotton exports by India. It sought to import nearly one million cotton bales from India to sustain its order books and cool the domestic prices. Pakistani traders hoped to tide over the shortage by importing cotton between November and January, but India's Textiles Commissioner, who controls export and import of the commodity, suspended fresh registrations for exports.

Cotton price in Pakistan has peaked to 7,600 Pakistani rupees a maund (a bale of 37.32 kg). The flash floods in August and September displaced millions of people and submerged more than one million acres of fertile land. The areas in south Punjab and interior Sindh, which together produce the largest amount of cotton, were the most affected.

India opened registration for cotton exports of up to 2.5 million bales on December 31 last. It plans to export 2.5 million bales by February 25, since prices have almost doubled in the international market within a year. Of the 5.5 million bales of surplus, 3 million bales have already been exported. An Indian bale weighs 375 pounds or 170 kg.

“Now we are waiting for a positive response from the Pakistani side, and we could have a second look at the cotton export ceiling and ban to ease the situation there,” the official said.

More In: National | News

I am surprised to learn that you guys do not remember that for a poor person onion, tomato are what they will use to make their curry. They cannot afford pizza/burger or other expansive vegetables. Yes it is true, cotton is more important. But one thing is for sure, Pakistan will grow cotton in the next season and India will grow onion... but the mindset that I see is a concern. There is no learning on both sides. There is no humanity on both sides. Such a shame for both countries.

from:  Naveed
Posted on: Jan 11, 2011 at 21:12 IST

Selling Cotton for Onion!!!
Already Indian Textile Industry submerging.
Ofcourse Onion is a very essential food commodity to Indian culture, but isn't there any other source or solution for this

from:  Gopinath
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 at 07:43 IST

I appreciate the prompt actions of our commerce minister, Mr. Anand. The Agri. minister should get a clue from him. I highly applaud Mr. Anand.

from:  vijay walia
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 at 07:42 IST

government is acting like a layman with little concern for farmer. One wonders which commodity is it planning to export when cotton prices soar high

from:  ravi sondur
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 at 05:53 IST

bad bargain.Onions are not to India what Cotton is to Pakistan at this point of time. No one is dying without Onions while Pakistan's textile export would suffer huge blow if they don't get cotton. India must ask Pakistant to reciprocate MFN status that India has accorded to Pakistan without getting anything in return.

from:  rohit
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 at 03:26 IST

Both countries are vyeing with each other in playing such dirty-games unmindful of their budding relations towards fruition in a not-too-distant future if everything goes well.

from:  Haja Abu Bucker
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 at 00:24 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Other States






Recent Article in National

3 more NDRF teams leave for Kathmandu

As the death toll in the Nepal earthquake continues to mount, three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprising 118... »