Bangladesh affected by cotton ban

Dhaka:The commerce ministry has said India`s ban on cotton export was against global trade norms, and repeatedly stopping the shipments of the natural fibre by the country impacted Bangladesh`s textiles industry. "India imposed ban on export of main raw material leaving aside trade rules and regulations.

We think it (ban) is against the norms of international trade," Commerce Secretary M Ghulam Hossain said at a press conference here on Thursday. He said the ministry condemned India`s "unexpected move" and has written to the Indian government for its withdrawal. "If not, Indian government has been urged to take steps to release all agreements related to cotton to ensure unloading of inputs from ports smoothly," he added.

The Indian government on Monday banned exports of cotton to increase supply of the natural fibre in the domestic market amid fears of a low yield this year due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Referring to the world market cotton price, Hossain said production of the textile input was good and price was low. Hossain said he hopes that India`s ban on cotton export would not hurt local textiles industry as the ministry was keeping vigil on artificial enhancement of the cotton price.

"We are (also) looking for alternative sources of import of cotton such as Uzbekistan, Australia and the United States," he said, adding that a high-powered delegation led by Commerce Minister Faruq Khan would visit Uzbekistan next month for possibility of importing cotton.

Besides, the ministry would also contact the US cotton council to meet the cotton demand in Bangladesh. India`s ban on cotton import would be discussed in the upcoming Joint Trade Commission (JTC) meeting to be held on March 28-29 in New Delhi.