Cotton export ban: GoM meet ends inconclusive



New Delhi: The GoM meeting to review the cotton export ban, which has led to a controversy now, ended inconclusive on Friday and further discussions could take place tomorrow.

"Talks remained inconclusive and further discussion is required. The meeting can place take tomorrow," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

The Commerce Ministry on March 5 banned cotton exports, a decision opposed by the Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar who said it was taken without his approval.

The meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was attended by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and Sharma, who also holds the Textiles portfolio.

The meeting, which lasted for almost two hours, took place following a directive from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who on March 7 asked the GoM to "urgently" review the decision to ban cotton exports.

Earlier this week, the Textile Ministry had said the ban was imposed after taking into account "the trend of domestic consumption and depletion of domestic availability".

Explaining the reasons behind export ban, the ministry had said that the country had already shipped 10 lakh bales more than the exportable surplus, reducing the domestic availability.

"Almost 94 lakh bales (170 kg each) have already shipped out, against an estimated export surplus of 84 lakh bales," the ministry had said. It feared the exports could reach 100 lakh bales by mid-March with registration of export contracts touching 120 lakh bales so far.

PTI