Industry body Assocham today called for lifting of the ban on raw cotton exports following a 40% decline in cotton prices during the past one-and-a-half month, to protect farmers interests across the country.
"The government must allow cotton exports immediately or those holding stocks will have to bear heavy losses. Traders will not be able to pay fair prices to farmers and this could lead to social unrest," Assocham Secretary General DS Rawat said.
He said the chamber has received wide representations from trade bodies in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat on these lines.
Cotton prices have tumbled from Rs 59,000-Rs 65,000 per candy as on March 31 to Rs 38,000 earlier this month.
"As a result, traders, millers, ginners and at the end farmers have suffered a severe setback," Assocham said in a communication to the Ministry of Commerce and Textile.
With opening stock of the year at 45 lakh bales, the Cotton Advisory Board had expected production to be 320 lakh bales and the domestic consumption was estimated at 240 lakh bales. However, the exports allotted till February-end were 65 lakh bales, it said.
On February 25, the Centre had banned exports of raw cotton and cotton yarn and the surplus available is 60 lakh bales with global prices ruling at Rs 80,000 per candy.