The government has set up Cotton Council of India under the chairmanship of an industry veteran Suresh Bhai Kotak to resolve the issues related to the pricing of cotton and yarn and bring tangible improvement in the sector.

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The first meeting of the council has been scheduled for May 28. The council will discuss, deliberate and prepare a robust action plan for bringing out a tangible improvement in this field, the Union Ministry of Textiles said on Wednesday.

The decision to set up the council was taken in a meeting with stakeholders from the cotton value chain. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal.

In the meeting, a cross-section of views and suggestions were deliberated for softening cotton and yarn prices on an urgent basis, to address the 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 the largest area under cotton cultivation. The minister emphasised on the need for making available better quality of seeds to improve productivity of cotton farmers, the statement said.

Addressing the meeting, 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 the government to intervene as it may have a 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-the-box thinking at this critical juncture.

Pointing out that the 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.

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. 

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