Not for allowing cotton export beyond 5.5 mn bales

Erode (TN) : Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran on Saturday said his ministry is not in favour of allowing export of cotton over and above 55 lakh bales and is taking all necessary steps to bring down the prices of the natural fibre in the domestic market.

"The government will allow export of only 55 lakh bales of cotton which is surplus and on no account we will allow more cotton to be exported," Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran said here on Saturday.

The government has allowed export of 55 lakh bales for 2010-11 marketing season (October-September) of which 38 lakh bales have been shipped so far.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had yesterday said the government may consider allowing further export of cotton, as production is expected to be slightly higher than the initial estimate of 33.5 million bales in 2010-11 crop year.

Several textile industry bodies, including the Tirupur Exporters Association, have been demanding ban on cotton exports citing the rising prices of the natural fibre and its impact on finished goods.

Maran said that the prices of cotton and yarn had been on the rise and added that "both the Union and state governments are taking all efforts to reduce prices."

He was speaking after laying the foundation for the Rs 145 crore Erode integrated textile mall `Texvaelly` at Gangapuram here, he said a total of three malls had been sanctioned this year.

The other two would come up in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

For the Erode mall, the Centre would grant a subsidy of Rs 70 crore and the first phase would be completed in the next nine months.

Texvalley, coming up on over 15 lakh square feet, would have 1,720 shops with all modern facilities to aid merchants sell their powerloom and handloom products.

It is expected to provide direct employment to 5,000 people and indirect employment to 10,000 when completed in 15 months.