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Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

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CCEA clears 20 lakh cotton bales for export

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 22

THE Government on Wednesday approved export of up to 20 lakh bales of cotton by the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) during the 2004-05 season.

The proposal approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) provides cost neutralisation to exporters in order to make cotton shipments from the country competitive.

According to the latest estimates of the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), the country's total cotton production this year is expected at 213 lakh bales. This, along with opening stocks of 21 lakh bales at the start of the season and import of roughly 5 lakh bales under the advance licence scheme, would result in total domestic availability of 239 lakh bales.

On the other hand, total consumption is expected to be only around 193 lakh bales, including normal exports. "This would leave a surplus of about 46 lakh bales. In order to improve the sentiment in cotton prices, it would be desirable to export 20-25 lakh bales during the current cotton year," an official release said.

According to the release, the main markets for Indian cotton exports would be Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and also Pakistan.

The CCEA also approved a capital subsidy scheme for textile processing units under the Technology Upgradation Fund. The details of the scheme would be worked out by the Textile Ministry in consultation with the Finance Ministry and will be announced soon, the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, told reporters after the CCEA meeting.

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