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India allows fresh cotton exports

Delhi,Business/Economy, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Succumbing to political pressure, the government Monday revoked the ban on cotton exports and said fresh exports will be allowed without any quantitative restrictions.


"A decision has been taken to remove the suspension of registration. So the registration for cotton exports will be allowed by the government," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.


Sharma, who also holds the textiles portfolio, said the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will take the necessary steps to allow fresh registration for exports of cotton.


The decision to allow fresh cotton exports was taken by an informal group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.


Besides Sharma, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council C. Rangarajan attended the meeting.


Sharma said fresh exports would be allowed without any "quantitative restrictions".


However, the decision would be reviewed by the group of ministers in three weeks' time, he said.


The decision to allow fresh exports of cotton was taken after senior leaders from Gujarat and Maharashtra met the finance minister and the prime minister and sought the removal of the exports ban.


Agriculture Minister Pawar has also been pressing for allowing fresh exports. In a letter to the prime minister, Pawar has called for a review of export policy of farm products like cotton, milk and sugar.


Sharma said the decision to remove suspension on registration of cotton exports had been taken based on the estimates of the agriculture ministry's data on cotton production and the Cotton Advisory Board.


Last month, the government had allowed shipments for which registration certificates were issued before the ban was imposed March 5.


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