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Indian cotton merchants demand free export
May '11
Cotton Association of India has urged the Indian Prime Minister to allow free cotton exports from India immediately.

On May 19th, Mr. Dhiren Sheth, President of Cotton Association of India (CAI) has sent a four page letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India urging him to take immediate steps to allow free cotton exports from India under Open General License without any quantitative restrictions.

In his letter, Mr. Sheth has made it clear that the curbing of cotton exports since February end has resulted in the cotton price crash up to 30%. The plight of the farmers has been highlighted mentioning that Indian cotton farmers are not realizing global prices. The letter has criticized the Indian export policy to be vacillating since last April, which has led to the erosion of confidence in Indian cotton in the international market.

Mr. Sheth has pointed out that the restriction of cotton exports is disastrous to Indian farmers as they are left to the mercy of Indian mills. CAI has pointed out to the Indian Prime Minister that the current export policy is detrimental to the Indian cotton sector and has urged immediate free export trade without any quantitative restrictions.

In a separate communication on May 23rd from India, Mr. Kishore Tiwari, President of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmer support group has strongly backed the CAI's plea for free cotton trade and has criticized the Indian textile lobby for blocking free exports from India.

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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