Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his deputy Ajit Pawar, during their meeting with the prime minister this evening, said state farmers would incur a loss of Rs 625 crore due to the export ban.
Maharashtra has estimated a cotton production of 35 million quintals for this season. About 22.5 million quintals have come to the market, leaving 12.5 million quintals of raw cotton. On a conservative estimate, a loss of Rs 500 per quintal would mean a loss of Rs 625 crore, the state government told the prime minister.
Chavan said about 33 per cent of cotton in the state was still with farmers and the ban would severely affect them. Most cotton markets were closed in the state and some violence reported after the ban. “There is a strong possibility of violent protests spreading across the state. The Budget session of the state Assembly is starting on March 15, where the issue will be raised vociferously,” Chavan said.
According to him, traders in Mumbai have reported registration of 10.8 million bales and 9.4 million bales shipment, which means 1.4 million bales for which registration certificates have been issued would not be allowed to be shipped.
It was estimated by the local trade that the disposal of this stock would result in losses of Rs 450 crore.
Traders have also reported stock of 0.8 million to 1 million bales with them, disposal of which have to take place. “Four lakh bales are in transitional arrangements and if this stock is sold in domestic market, it will result in a loss of Rs 120 crore. Traders report that they can achieve 12.5 million bales of exports if the same are allowed under open general licence. It means 3.7 million more bales could be exported over and above the current level of shipments. This would avoid any minimum support price operations till the cotton picking is over in April,” Chavan said.
The state government observed that a sudden ban would adversely affect long-term prospects of exports and would lead to reduction in the area under cotton in the ensuing kharif season.
State-owned oil companies today hiked jet fuel price by about 3%, the third time they have increased rates this month.