The benchmark Shankar-6 variety of Indian cotton is currently ruling at around ₹60,000 per candy of 356 kg, which amounts to ₹169 per kg. In comparison, the price of ICE cotton is around ₹152 per kg.
The prices of raw cotton in India are currently at least 10-14 per cent higher than prices in international markets, and this disparity is impacting the Indian textile industry. Stakeholders are therefore urging the government to remove the 11 per cent import duty imposed on cotton to create a level playing field for the domestic industry.
The slowing of demand in export markets is another cause of worry for the Indian industry, especially the textile and apparel exporters. The industry is therefore looking towards the government for proactive support so it can face the twin challenge in the global market.
A Tamil Nadu-based industry expert said that Indian cotton is costlier than the international cotton, including the Chinese fibre. “Therefore, Indian exporters are unable to get orders from global market. Currently, the government has imposed 11 per cent import duty on cotton, which is spoiling feasibility of international trade.”
Another industry source from Delhi said that India’s cotton rates are not competitive globally. “Domestic market is also shifting faster from cotton to polyester and consumption is down. Hence, the government needs to remove the import duty and make the price of raw material at par with international prices.”
Besides removal of import duty on cotton, the industry is also seeking a stimulus package from the government to support the spinning, weaving, fabricating, garmenting and home textiles sectors.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KUL)