Spinning mills in southern India have complained that the cotton purchased from Gujarat is adulterated and causing problems. The mills claimed that the section of ginners in Gujarat are mixing cotton waste (comber noil-waste extracted by spinning mills) in the virgin cotton with a profit motive, which they claimed not only impact the image of Gujarat, a major producer and supplier of quality cotton in the country, but also the strenuous efforts put in by the farmers.
In a statement on Wednesday, Southern India Mills Association (SIMA), said that despite the problems faced on many fronts, the only advantage for the predominantly cotton-based textile industry is availability of home grown cotton. The textile mills in southern states mainly depend on cotton from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra for the consumption. These mills mainly prefer Shankar 6 variety of cotton grown in Gujarat as it is suitable to produce hosiery yarn for garment sector, especially Tirupur. Among the southern states, Tamil Nadu alone consumes more than 120 lakh bales of cotton annually while producing only around 5 lakh bales.
M Senthilkumar, chairman, SIMA, said the industry has been facing the problem of adulteration for the last few years and the magnitude has become several fold from the last cotton season. This issue was brought to the notice of the agriculture minister of Gujarat state and the Gujarat Ginners Association in December 2015.
However, there was no action on the part of Gujarat government.
As a result, the textile mills have reduced the volume of purchase from Gujarat by 40-50% and are sourcing from Telangana besides importing from countries like West Africa and Australia.
Normally, the textile mills used to import five to six lakh bales of cotton to meet the customers’ requirements, especially the Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton.
But in the last cotton season, due to adulteration problem, 23 lakh bales of cotton were imported incurring cost towards foreign exchange of Rs 3,600 crore for the additional 17 lakh bales, he said.
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“Since the adulteration problem has still been persisting, the association on Wednesday sent a representation to the union textile minister Smriti Irani, requesting her intervention and prevail on the Gujarat government to take necessary steps to curb the adulteration practice followed by certain section of the ginners in the state in the interests of cotton farmers, traders, spinners and also the knitted garment manufacturers across the nation,” he said.