Delhi cotton export ban against int’l trade rulesStaff Correspondent
The commerce ministry on Thursday said that the sudden ban on cotton export by India was against rules and regulations of international trade.
‘Any country can impose ban on export of its commodities for special and emergency needs. But India imposed ban on export of cotton repeatedly leaving aside trade rules and regulations. We think it [ban] is against the norms of international trade,’ the commerce secretary, M Ghulam Hossain, told a hurriedly called press conference at his secretariat office.
He said the ministry condemned India’s unexpected move and wrote to the Indian government for withdrawal, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
‘If not,’ he said, ‘Indian government has been urged to take steps to release cotton which are in the process of export to Bangladesh.’
The issue of India’s ban on cotton import would be discussed in the upcoming Joint Trade Commission (JTC) meeting to be held on March 28-29 in New Delhi.
He said that the ministry directed the Bangladesh Tariff Commission to keep sharp eye on the local spinners so that they can not hike yarn price on the plea of India’s ban, and simultaneously asked the three trade bodies of country’s textile and apparel sectors to play a proactive role to handle upcoming situation.
Among others, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association president AKM Salim Osman and second vice-president Siddiqur Rahman and Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association president Jahangir Alamin attended the press conference.
‘Tariff commission has been assigned to check the yarn businesses so that no one can increase yarn price dishonestly and unethically by taking the chance of India’s ban on cotton export,’ the commerce secretary said.
He, however, said India’s ban on cotton export would not hurt local textiles industry as the ministry is keeping vigilance so that none can increase its price artificially.
‘We are looking for alternative sources of import of cotton such as Uzbekistan, Australia and the United States,’ he said adding that a high-powered delegation led by commerce minister will leave here for Uzbekistan first week of next month to scoop out possibility of importing cotton to meet Bangladesh’s demand.
Not only that, he said, the ministry will contact US cotton council to this end.
The Indian government on Monday imposed the ban to, what they said, build up its domestic stock of cotton amid fears of a low yield this year due to unfavourable weather.
The country’s agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, however, called for the lifting of a ‘highly objectionable’ ban on cotton exports on Tuesday saying that production of cotton was higher this year and farmers were facing low prices.
An Indian government panel, however, may review the ban today.
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