Sharma criticises Modi's remarks on cotton policy



New Delhi: Criticising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for looking at cotton export policy with a "narrow prism of partisan politics", Textiles Minister Anand Sharma has asked him to restrain from making such remarks.

He was responding to Modi's comments that the Centre is taxing export of cotton while offering subsidies on meat exports.

"I was shocked that a Chief Minister of a large state had made an unwarranted statement without ascertaining the facts of the matter," Sharma said in a letter to the Gujarat Chief Minister.

Pointing out that the Centre does not give any subsidy to meat exporters, he said, "I wish you would be restrained and judicious while making public statements on government policy. It would be unfortunate to view matters of public policy from the narrow prism of partisan politics".

He said the government policy strives to strike a fine balance between the interests of all stakeholders in the cotton value chain farmers, ginners, traders, yarn producers and exporters.

Modi had strongly criticised the Centre's move to ban cotton exports last month. The ban was soon lifted by the government.

The Central government has directed CCI to buy 15,000 bales of the natural fibre from Gujarat on a daily basis.

Sharma has asked the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to buy cotton from the state at Rs 4,400 per quintal. One cotton bale is equal to 170 kg.

Cotton prices are averaging around Rs 4,000 per quintal and are way above the MSP prices of 3,100 per quintal.

On April 3, CCI purchased about 11,000 bales at Rs 4,400 per quintal from major mandis across Gujarat.

PTI