Vidarbha Ryots Demand CBI Probe on decision to Ban Cotton Export- HITAVADA
Nagpur-march 7 2012
Close on the heels of Ministry of Commerce imposing ban on cotton exports apprehending shortfall domestic market and hoarding in warehouse abroad, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar urged the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to lift the ban. Cotton growers from Vidarbha have hailed Pawar’s move and have dubbed ban on cotton export as ‘unjust, unholy and unwanted’.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti VJAS chief Kishor Tiwari alleged that the ban was a result of large scale massive corruption in Ministry of Commerce. “We will file public interest litigation in this regard before Nagpur bench of Mumbai High Court so that cotton growers get justice,” stated Tiwari in a release issued here.
According to Tiwari, cotton exports have been banned to ensure supplies for domestic mills and boosting global prices as absence of shipment from the world’s second largest producer might tighten a market that is facing weak demand. The move is ‘baseless and ill-motivated’ in a meeting of Group of Ministers to be held on March 9.
The ban has raised eyebrows of farm activists and cotton-growers from Vidarbha region, where cotton farmers are committing suicides due to agrarian crisis and cotton price failure, which is a result of export restrictions and monopolies of few MNCs that are controlling total input-output of cotton crop. The ban has surprised Ministry of Textiles as well as Ministry of agriculture. Dubbing the move to ban cotton export as ‘deep-rooted scam effected by a handful of babus in Ministry of Commerce’, VJAS chief has written to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture to order CBI probe into the export ban order.
Tiwari pointed out the cotton production in India was around 34 million bales as against domestic demand of 20 million bales. Last year, there was stock of 8 million bales. There is less demand in domestic market and hence cotton prices are around Rs.3,500 per quintal as against global prices that are above Rs. 5,000 per quintal. Hence, all arguments of Ministry of Commerce for imposing ban on cotton export are ridiculous, he added.