The predominantly cotton-based textile industry in South, particularly the mills in Tamil Nadu, imports significant volumes of West African cotton to manufacture knitted garments. The congestion in ports has pushed the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) to tap New Mangalore Port (NPT) in Karnataka for cotton import.
According to SIMA, NPT offers excellent warehousing facilities, specially for the benefit of small and medium scale spinning mills.
Members of SIMA, along with those from the South India Spinners Association (SISPA), traders and liners, held talks in this regard with Chairman of New Mangalore Port Trust P C Parida and other officials earlier this week here.
SIMA has sought extension of Customs-free bonded warehouse for cotton -- as in Malaysian ports -- so traders could store the imported cotton and supply to small and medium spinning mills all over Southern states, said association President T Rajkumar.
The port handling charges, wharfage and demurrages are much lower in the case of NPT. Moreover such a facility would also enable the traders to return the unsold cotton to the original destination without any additional cost. The authorities have invited SIMA to visit the port.
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