Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has announced formation of Cotton Council of India, an informal body under Chairmanship of Shri Suresh Bhai Kotak, a renowned veteran cotton man, with representation from Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Commerce and Industry, Cotton Corporation of India and Cotton Research Institute. The first meeting of proposed council has been scheduled on 28th May 2022. The council will discuss, deliberate and prepare a robust action plan for bringing out a tangible improvement in this field.
The announcement came during a meeting with stakeholders from cotton value chain, held under the Chairmanship of Shri Piyush Goyal yesterday wherein Minister of State for Textiles Smt. Darshna Jardosh, Secretary Textiles and Secretary Agriculture were also present.
In the meeting, a cross-section of views and suggestions were deliberated for softening cotton and yard prices on urgent basis, to address unprecedented price rise witnessed in the current season. It was pointed out that cotton productivity is the biggest challenge in the country, resulting thereby less cotton production despite largest area under cotton cultivation. The minister emphasized upon the need for making available better quality of seeds to improve productivity of cotton farmers.
Addressing the meeting, Shri Goyal gave a clear and loud message to all stakeholders to resolve cotton and yarn price issue, in the spirit of collaboration rather than competition and super profiteering, without pushing government to intervene as it may have long term impact on cotton value chain.
He also emphasised the need of holding hands of cotton farmers who is the weakest part of cotton value chain, besides extending all possible support to stakeholders engaged in the backward and forward integration through out of box thinking at this critical juncture.
Pointing out that government is committed to protect the interests of cotton farmers, spinners and weavers, the Minister assured to actively consider the demand of the spinning sector for exemption from import duty on those import contracts in which bills of lading is issued upto 30th September 2022 to overcome current cotton shortage and logistic issues.
Shri Goyal also appealed to the spinning and trading community to ensure hassle free supply of cotton and yarn first to the domestic industry and only surplus cotton and yarn should be diverted for exports. He cautioned that export should not be at the cost of domestic industry which is the largest generator of employment in the country.