To highlight the host of problems faced by the industry, including shortage of cotton that was made scarce allegedly by multinational companies, the Telangana textile and spinning mills has decided to shut down twice a week. There are about 33 mills in Telangana following bifurcation and at least 50,000 persons are said to be working in them.
Market glut, duty-free access or minimal duty advantage for competing nations to major textile markets like the European Union and China have led to a decline in prices and a slowdown of exports and Chinese currency devaluation in August last has only added to mills woes.
R.K. Agarwal, chairman, M. Ananta Reddy general secretary and Vishnuvardhan Reddy of the Telangana Spinning & Textile Mills Association has made an appeal to the Central and State governments to come to their rescue as they are being pushed to a corner. Prices have moved upwards of Rs. 5,000 per quintal, but it will not benefit farmers as traders and MNCs are releasing hoarded stocks into the market.
The Association has also requested the Centre to regulate the cotton trade, cap speculative practices by MNCs having the benefit of low interest regimes in their respective countries to access capital and direct the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to sell to customers only to stabilize prices since traders/MNCs were jacking up prices during lean season.
Other demands put forward are cotton stabilization fund at seven percent rate, liberal loans, increase in credit limit from three months to nine months, reduction of margin money to 10 percent and providing export incentive of 7.5 per cent are other demands.
At a press conference on Monday, they charged that 50 lakh bales of hoarded cotton was lying with such traders and that mills were finding it tough to go for imports due to duties and transportation costs; besides it will take 50 days for imports.
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