India to review cotton export ban
India, the world's second-largest producer of cotton, unexpectedly banned all exports of cotton on Monday to protect supplies for domestic mills.
Wed, Mar 07, 2012 at 07:13 AM
COTTON: India has already exported 8.5 million bales in the fiscal year ending March 31, more than the government's target of 8.4 million bales. (Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP)
India announced a review of its recent ban on cotton exports Wednesday after outrage among farmers and complaints from the agriculture minister who said he knew nothing about the decision.
A panel of ministers will meet on Friday "to urgently review" the ban, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office said following a meeting in New Delhi with regional leaders.
India, the world's second-largest producer of cotton, unexpectedly banned all exports of cotton on Monday, saying it wanted to protect supplies for domestic mills.
The new regulation, which took immediate effect, sent cotton prices soaring on New York's commodity markets and was expected to send buyers in China flocking to the U.S. market.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar lobbied the prime minister for the ban to be overturned after saying he was not consulted about the move, which was announced by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
"Farmers are complaining of falling prices," Pawar told reporters.
The move also drew criticism from the chief minister of the cotton-producing western state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
India has already exported 8.5 million bales in the fiscal year ending March 31, more than the government's target of 8.4 million bales.
The ban comes just six months after India completely freed cotton export controls. India had banned cotton exports in April 2010 and lifted the ban in the same year.
Copyright 2012 AFP South Asian Edition