Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Sellur Handloom Cloth Manufacturers’ Association on Tuesday warned of an indefinite strike if the Central Government did not impose a ban on export of raw cotton and yarn.

Addressing a press conference here, association president G. Subash Chandra Bose said that extreme volatility in prices of raw materials was having a tremendous impact on the sector.

The price of a 5-kg ball of yarn had jumped from Rs. 560 to Rs. 710 in the last two months alone. Further, there was also a shortage of cotton in India, he said.

In such a scenario, around 20 per cent of the total cotton produced in India and 15 per cent of the yarn were being exported resulting in an “artificial shortage.” Further aggravating the issue, a majority of these exports were going to countries such as China and Bangladesh which were India’s competitors in this sector, he said.

Giving the background of their demands, association secretary M. Balasubramanian said that capital investment had increased in recent years to Rs. 2 lakh crore. Many modern and sophisticated equipment were going to arrive as investments to the tune of Rs. 50,000 crore had been lined up, he said.

He also demanded that cloth manufacturers be given a subsidy of Rs. 20 for one kg of cotton and scrapping of 4 per cent sales tax.