Government must resist demands for banning exports

News: After the wheat ban, there is a possibility of a ban on exports of raw cotton. The author lists out reasons for not doing so.

Why ban on exports of raw cotton will not be correct?

First, from raw cotton to fabric making, there are various stages and processes in the textile industry.

Raw cotton > Cotton Yarn > Cotton Fabric > Cotton ready-made garments

Export is happening at every stage. For example, During the year ended March 31, 2022, India exported $2.8 billion worth of raw cotton, $5.5 billion of cotton yarn, $8.2 billion of cotton fabrics and made-ups, and $9 billion of cotton ready-made garments.

Thus, a ban on just raw cotton will not be justified.

Second, the price rise of around 50% of raw cotton cannot be attributed, just to the exports. International prices are also rising and domestic prices are just seeking parity with those prices.

Third, the government has slashed import duty on cotton, which is the right approach for tackling inflation. The 10 percent duty on yarn imports can be removed as well.

Fourth, high prices of raw cotton can be beneficial for the farmers sowing cotton this season.

What should be done?

The real issue that requires attention is the yield. The yield, which was increasing after the introduction of Bt cotton, is on a falling trajectory now.

The plants incorporating Bt genes have over time developed susceptibility to pink bollworm and whitefly insect pests, reducing yields. Opposition to further research and support for GM crops is one of the reasons behind that.

Thus, the government must support the genetic engineering technologies in cotton and other plants as well.

Source: This post is created based on the article “Government must resist demands for banning exports” published in Indian Express on 24th May 2022.

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