The government has cut its cotton production forecast to 39 million bales for the current marketing year through September from the previous estimate of 40 million bales, citing unseasonal rains and hailstorms.
“Due to untimely rains/hailstorms across the country, cotton crop prospects were adversely impacted particularly in the central zone,” textile minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. One bale equals 170 kg.
Late last month, Cotton Corporation Of India chairman BK Mishra had told FE that a smaller harvest was expected in the northern region as well as Gujarat. State-run Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) had in October projected a record harvest of 40 million bales for 2014-15, marginally higher than 39.8 million bales a year before.
According to the CAB, cotton exports are also projected to dip to 7 million bales this year compared with 11.79 million bales in 2013-14 on poor demand from top buyer China.
“Cotton exports from the country are under open general licence and being a cotton-surplus country, sufficient cotton is available
for domestic mills,” Gangwar said. Replying to a separate question on increasing customs duty on silk imports from China, he said there is no such proposal.
“There are no reports that Chinese silk is flooding Indian markets,” he added.
On Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), the minister said that it has been continued for the 12th five year plan with an outlay of Rs 11,952.8 crore.
Replying to a separate question on National Textile Corporation mills, Gangwar said currently 28 mills are working in different states including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and 78 are closed. “NTC, which was a sick company, has been implementing various revival schemes approved by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction from time to time,” he said.