New Delhi: A section of cotton traders have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove restrictions on cotton exports.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Cotton Association of India said, "We urge you to make cotton exports free under the OGL without any quantitative and other restrictions with immediate effect in the interest of the Indian cotton economy in general and that of the country's cotton farmers in particular."
Rolling back its decision to ban cotton exports, the government last week has allowed cotton exports of registered contracts made till March 4 after scrutinisation and revalidation and no fresh registration of contracts would be allowed till further orders.
Expressing disappointment on government's decision to not allow fresh registrations till further orders, CAI said, "The issue of new registration certificates will continue to remain suspended. This amounts to the ban on cotton export continuing."
India, which is the second largest producer of cotton in the world, had issued registrations certificates for 130 lakh bales (170 kg each) of cotton before the prohibition and out of that 95 lakh bales were shipped.
Despite repeated assurances from the government for a free and consistent export policy on the natural fibre at the beginning of the season, CAI said, "Recent changes in the policy governing cotton shipments are testimony to the step motherly treatment being meted out to it."
India is expected to produce 340 lakh bales of the natural fibre in the 2011-12 season.
Textile mills consumption is estimated at 216 lakh bales for the current season.
The decision to ban cotton exports was criticised by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
Besides, some chief ministers, including those from Congress-ruled Maharashtra and BJP-ruled Gujarat, had conveyed their resentment over the move, stating it would hurt farmers.