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Friday, 9 August 2019

Tamil Nadu raises concern over Maharashtra’s proposal to impose import duty on cotton

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Time and again it has been noticed that textile policies of various states clash with each other; sometimes to the extent of having a negative impact on another state.

Yet again one such policy, which is taking shape, is raising concern for other states.

According to media reports, Maharashtra Govt. is proposing to impose import duty on cotton to control domestic prices.

The report says “As cheap imports and sluggish exports loom large over the domestic cotton market, Pasha Patel, head of Maharashtra Government’s committee for agriculture cost and pricing, said import duty on cotton could be explored to keep domestic prices steady.”

The textile industry of Tamil Nadu, having accounted for 19 per cent of India’s textile output, has raised its objections and asked Ministry of Textiles to intervene. The Tamil Nadu industry strongly believes that such kind of proposals arrest the growth of the industry and can change the entire dynamics of the textile value chain.

Substantiating further, Prabhu Damodharan, Convenor, Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), Coimbatore said, “Even the announcement of this kind of step has created a big panic among the spinning and weaving industry stakeholders. And we want to convey our worries to your kind knowledge madam for the same.” ITF represents Tamil Nadu textile industry very strongly.

Prabhu has written a letter to Smriti Irani, Ministry of Textiles and requested that MoT should continue its good policy of zero duty on cotton imports or exports.

“Our industry has already burnt its hands in 2010-11 when knee jerk reaction and policy changes created a big turbulence in Indian spinning sector and more than Rs. 15,000 crore was eroded from the system and that was the starting point of stressed assets in spinning mills and many mills have till date not recovered at all from that setback,” he added.

Experts feel that the Indian textile industry needs long-term stable policies to match its competitors. Besides, US-China trade war is also generating lot of opportunities for the Indian textile sector.

It is pertinent to mention here that India’s 2018-19 cotton export is expected to be around 46 lakh bales, compared with the 69 lakh bales it exported in the 2017-18 season. While import of the same has doubled, with the country recording 31 lakh bales of import as against the 15 lakh bales it imported in 2017-18.