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Budget 2022: CAI President Atul Gantara urges govt to scrap import duty on cotton

21 Jan 2022 11:50 am
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Mumbai, January 21 Atul Ganatara, President of Cotton Association of India (CAI) has appealed to the central government to scrap import duty on cotton to create a level playing field as domestic cotton prices are ruling above global prices.

The government slapped the duty at 10% on cotton imports with 5 % basic custom duty and 5 % Agricultural Infrastructure Development Cess last year. Besides, 10 per cent social welfare cess is applicable on this. Hence, effective duty on cotton imports is at 11% presently.

Gantara said, “ We want removal of this 11% import duty on cotton imposed by the government last year in the budget. The duty was imposed because we had a big carry forward stock of 125 lakh bales and the Cotton Corporation of India had purchased over one crore bales each season for two consecutive years. But, the situation has changed now. Prices of our cotton are ruling above global prices.”

“Removal of import duty is an urgent need of the hour to protect the domestic textile industry,” he added.

The low cotton yield is this season has resulted in the crop selling at over 60 per cent higher than the minimum support price (MSP).

Ganatara has also demanded the government to provide new seed technology which could improve the yield of cotton in the country.

“The average cotton yield during the last five years in India is 475 kg per hectare against the global average of 800 kg. Therefore, yield of cotton has to be improved by introducing new seed technology, CAI President said.

“The BT cotton seed technology, presently, in practice in our country is almost 15 year old and the seed is not resilient to bear the fury of weather and able to protect from the attack of pink bollworm. That’s why our average annual production in the last five years has been nearly 350 lakh bales of 170kg each while domestic consumption is rising constantly every year by 10-15 lakh bales,” he added.

“Therefore, we need a new seed technology to improve our domestic production of cotton,” concluded Atul Ganatara.

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