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Cotton output to be lower at 390 lakh bales in 2014-15


New Delhi:  The government has lowered the estimates of cotton production for the 2014-15 season to 390 lakh bales from 400 lakh bales due to untimely rains and hail storm across the country.

“Due to untimely rains/hail storm across the country, cotton crop prospects were adversely impacted particularly in central zone. Due to switching over from other competing crops, cultivation of cotton in southern zone was expected to increase further.

“Accordingly, the cotton production estimates have been revised from 400 lakh bales to 390 lakh bales for the year 2014-15,” Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. One bale is of 170 kg.

The main cotton growing states include Rajasthan, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Total demand is estimated to be at 390 lakh bales in 2014-15, compared to 416.80 lakh bales in the previous season.

According to the CAB data, cotton export is also estimated to fall drastically to 70 lakh bales in this season compared with 117.92 lakh bales in 2013-14, due to lack of demand from China.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured 83 lakh bales at the minimum support price (MSP), which is expected to be around 90 lakh bales during the 2014-15 season.

Cotton MSP was increased by the government by Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 3,750 for medium staple and to Rs 4,050 for long staple for 2014-15 season.

Gangwar also said that the cost of Indian cotton is not higher than the international prices.

“Cotton exports from the country are under open general licence and being a cotton surplus country, sufficient cotton is available for domestic mills,” he said.

Replying to a separate question on increasing customs duty on silk imports from China, he said there is no such proposal.

“There are no reports that Chinese silk is flooding Indian markets,” he added.

On Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), the minister said that it has been continued for the 12th five year plan with an outlay of Rs 11,952.8 crore.

Replying to a separate question on National Textile Corporation mills, Gangwar said currently 28 mills are working in different states including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and 78 are closed.

“NTC, which was a sick company, has been implementing various revival schemes approved by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction from time to time,” he said.

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