The new cotton registration policy, which will be announced by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) this week, may do away with the eligibility criteria.
Cotton exports were allowed under the open general license (OGL) last week because of adequate stock and a fall in prices. The decision will be valid for the current season from October to September. Officials said when cotton exports have been allowed under OGL, there was no use for an eligibility criteria. “Now, we want to know who is exporting and how much,” they added.
The new guidelines will require the exporters to submit documentary proof of shipments. Officials said the guidelines will, however, continue to have the penal clause in case the licensee fails to export cotton after registration. The pre-conditions for eligibility to export cotton was challenged by 9-10 exporters in court. During the hearing of a petition, the Bombay High Court had ordered DGFT to extend the quota allocation process to August 8, which otherwise got over on July 15. DGFT challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court.
DGFT had said cotton exports quota will be granted only if an entity had exported cotton in either of the previous two cotton years (2008-09 and 2009-10), and allocation will be done on pro-rata basis.
In October last year, the Centre had set a ceiling for cotton exports at 55 lakh bales (170 kg each) to protect the domestic textiles industry in the face of rising raw material prices. An additional 10 lakh bales were permitted for export in June, after prices had corrected sharply.
Prices had fallen to about 31,000 a candy (356 kg), from the peak of 62,500 per candy in March-end. At present, cotton is trading at 32,500 a candy. The restrictions on cotton yarn were removed on April 1, after manufacturers found themselves saddled with big inventories following curbs on exports.