Indian Cotton Association Limited (ICAL) an apex trade body has stressed on the need for certain sops to sustain the cotton industry as there is considerable drop in the area under cotton crop in Punjab this season which has impacted the traders, ginners and exporters.
The cotton traders calling the policies of the state government unsupportive have demanded scrapping of the minimum monthly electricity charges for ginning industry, rationalization of tax structure with the neighbouring states and supply of power to spinning industry at lower rates.
On Monday, ICAL approached the Congress manifesto framing committee chairperson Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and convener Manpreet Singh Badal to put forth its demands. ICAL president Rakesh Rathi said that cotton has been sown in 2.5 lakh hectares, which is 40% less than the last year's acreage.
As last season cotton traders, ginners and exporters had to face losses due to severe damage to crop, this year too they may suffer on account of sharp drop in acreage. Moreover, the tax on purchase of raw cotton was higher in Punjab as compared to Haryana and Rajasthan so farmers preferred going to the neighbouring states, due to which traders and industry suffers.
ICAL director Bhagwan Dass Bansal said that many ginning factories in Punjab were closed due to faulty policies and lower cotton arrivals. Those remaining were forced to pay big amounts ranging from Rs 2-4 lakh per month as minimum charges to the government.
Former finance minister Manpreet Badal apart from providing cheap electricity assured rationalization of tax structure and scrapping of the clause of minimum charges to save cotton traders.
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