Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi today wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh asking him to immediately lift the ban imposed by Central Government on the export of Cotton.
Chief Minister in his letter clearly stated that the Central Government's action of suspending the export of cotton will seriously damage the economical condition of millions of cotton producing farmers in Gujarat as Gujarat is a major cotton producing State of the country.
Chief Minister wrote that Gujarat contributes to more than one third of cotton production and more than half of the exports in cotton. The area under cotton cultivation has gone up from 16 lakh hectares in the year 2003 to 26.5 lakh hectares in 2009-10. Gujarat produces around one crore bales of cotton now. Cotton is in fact, one of the most important commercial crops being produced in Gujarat. This cropping pattern has led to wide spread economic wellbeing among the farmer community. Their income levels have gone up and ultimately this has led to rural prosperity. A substantial part of the cotton produced in Gujarat is being exported to various countries including China, Thailand, Indonesia and Turkey. This obviously fetches the better prices to farmers. Over the years, because of extension work and technological interventions, the productivity per acre has also gone up along with the area under cultivation of cotton. In such times, the actions of imposing export duty of Rs. 2500 per ton on the export and then the decision of suspending the export of cotton, taken on 19th April 2010, is not only unfortunate but unreasonable and will ruin the cotton farmers of the State.
Chief Minister said that the move has not only suspended the registration of new export contracts, but has also nullified the contracts already made or those in pipeline. The ban on exports has instantly led to fall in the prices of cotton from Rs. 710 per 20 kg to Rs. 675. This fall in the prices has already resulted in the loss of around Rs. 1500 crore to the farmers of Gujarat. Such ban will force the farmers of many States to again take the route of suicide.
Shri Modi also said that the ban has been imposed only to placate the cotton yarn industrial lobby. This decision is not only harmful to farmers in short-term, but will ultimately lead to confusion among farmers and will lesser the production of cotton thus affecting the cotton based industry in general. This will surely affect the employment of people and ultimately the State's and National Economy.
Chief Minister wrote that yarn industry can be supplied cotton through competitive domestic or international trade, but in any case such anti-farmer ban that can ruin millions of farmer, must be lifted off.