Rollback of cotton export an eyewash: VJAS
YAVATMAL: The conditional lifting of cotton export ban on Sunday by the union commerce and industry minister is nothing but an eyewash as the DGFT notification issued on Monday has disappointed exporters, traders and cotton farmers of the country, opined president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) Kishore Tiwari.
In a press release, Tiwari has dubbed it as a deliberate attempt of the power drunk and corrupt 'babus' in the commerce and industry ministry to cover up the hidden restrictions in the rollback proposal which in fact brings fresh export ban on purchases and trades.
The latest order clearly says that the issue of new registration certificates (RCs) stands suspended until further orders and in respect of those RCs that were valid as on March 5 and for which let export order orders (LEOs) are yet to be issued and exports completed, all the RCs would need to be submitted to directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) for scrutiny and revalidation. Now the exports can be affected only after RCs are revalidated which ultimately give ample scope for further exploitation and corruption in the DGFT. Consequently, the cotton bales marketed at Rs 34,000 and above have been brought down to Rs 32,400 level.
"We demand blanket lifting of export ban under free export of raw cotton under open general licence that can save debt trapped seven million farmers of India," said Tiwari.
Tiwari demanded a CBI probe into the circumstances that forced to take the ill-motivated decision to enforce a fresh ban on the cotton export in the light of the revelation of the union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, observations of the fact finding committee of GOM and the protest by the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
He has also urged the PM to sack Sharma for misleading the government and public.
"On Sunday, three million cotton farmers of Vidarbha, who are facing crop losses and committing suicides at the rate of three farmers a day, had welcomed the commerce minister Anand Sharma's announcement that the government has decided to withdraw the ban. But they have been taken aback as the notification has brought only gloom to shatter their dreams," Tiwari said, adding that the minister misled the media and innocent farmers.
"It is highly immoral and illegal hence we urge the PM to review the notification and bring back pre-export ban conditions so that cotton export is protected. 'If UPA Government has problem with the growth of cotton export and want to protect textile cartel then they should buy cotton at international rates through its agencies like NAFED and CCI," Tiwari said, adding, "It would help protect the farmers who are forced to sell cotton at throw away price to local dealer.
"Domestic demand is just 20 million bales as against national production of 33 million bales. There is no reason to put restrictions when interest of domestic textile mills are fully protected," Tiwari pointed out.
It is pertinent to note that during the last month, cotton was traded above Rs 4,200 a quintal but the fear of export ban brought down it to Rs 3,700 per quintal till March 3. The news of export ban on March 5 crashed cotton prices. At Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh and Ghatanji in Yavatmal, the farmers sold cotton at Rs 2,500 per quintal.
"As a matter of fact, 30% cotton is till lying with farmers and other 30% are with local ginners and traders. The conditional lifting of ban will have severe impact as there is very little demand in domestic market since October last. Open free export of cotton is the only solution" he said.