Pawar protests, Centre frees cotton export | business | Hindustan Times
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Pawar protests, Centre frees cotton export

business Updated: May 01, 2012 01:32 IST
HT Correspondent

India on Monday freed all restrictions on cotton export, amid pressure from farm minister Sharad Pawar and the chief ministers of cotton-growing states.

The government had in March banned exports of the fiber other than those consignments already cleared.

The ban by the commerce ministry, headed by Anand Sharma, had upset Pawar, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and also Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

The ban came on the back of suspicion that cotton from the country was being hoarded abroad after shipments crossed 8.4 million bales (170 kg each), the official estimate of exportable surplus.

This March 5 ban that was only partially lifted later, with the commerce ministry clarifying that there was no blanket ban although no new licences for exports would be granted.

Pawar had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, sharply criticising both the commerce ministry and the KV Thomas-headed food ministry for curbing exports of cotton and exports, which he claimed, had deprived farmers of precious earnings at a time of high global prices.

A high-level meeting headed by the Prime Minister to address issues raised by Pawar was deferred to parliamentary work on Monday, sources said.

"A decision has been taken to remove suspension of cotton exports registration. Registration of cotton exports will be allowed by the government," textiles minister Anand Sharma said.