India reverses cotton export ban after farmer outrage
Monday, 12 March 2012 | 11:00
India has reversed a ban on cotton exports, less than a week after imposing it. There was an angry reaction from farmers when the government announced the policy last Monday.
The government justified the ban by saying that India needed to protect supplies for its own cotton mills.
But farming groups were outraged and the agriculture minister complained that he was not consulted about the new policy.
"We must realise that we are a cotton surplus country and our surplus needs to be exported. These are short-sighted views that [the textile] industry sometimes takes by asking to ban cotton exports," said Nayan Mirani, vice-president of the Cotton Association of India, which represents exporters and traders.
India is the world's second biggest producer of cotton and its exporters had outstanding orders for 2.5m bales of cotton when the ban was imposed.
Exports had been running well above government targets and, at the time, officials at the textile ministry said the ban was needed due to "the trend of domestic consumption and depletion of domestic availability".
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