As the District administration has made it clear that no 'zero' business or tax and market cess evasion in cotton trade will be allowed this year onwards, traders and millers have decided to insist on quality of the produce that is intended to be sold in the market here. The latter say they evade taxes only to make up for the losses forced upon them by farmers who sell cotton with more than permissible levels of moisture.

Over the last few years, it has become a practice with cotton farmers, to douse their produce with water to increase its weight. The moisture content of such cotton increases to even 25 per cent but spoils its quality drastically. “If you want us to stop illegal business, ensure that the cotton that arrives in the market yards has moisture content between 8 and 12 per cent,” said a trader on conditions of anonymity. “If matters do not improve we will have to import all the raw material from Khammam,” pointed a ginning and pressing mill owner.

The cotton processing industry in Adilabad town has an installed capacity of producing 18 lakh bales annually which requires about 1 crore quintals of kapas as raw material. Only about 25 per cent of this quantity is fed to the industry by local farmers while the rest of the raw material comes from Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam where there is no processing industry.