PM directs GoM to urgently review ban on cotton exports

PM directs GoM to urgently review ban on cotton exports

Taking note of concerns from various quarters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today directed review of the Commerce Ministry's decision to ban cotton exports on March nine.

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Singh directed that the Group of Ministers should meet on Friday to review the decision urgently, a PMO statement said. The direction came after a delegation of Gujarat Congress led by Mohan Prakash, in-charge of party affairs in the state and Maharashtra met the Prime Minister with a demand for immediate removal of ban on export of cotton.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had taken strong objection to cotton export ban and raised the issue with Singh, who referred the matter to a Group of Ministers for review.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has also shot off a letter to the Prime Minister on Monday, the day the notification was issued for ban on cotton exports. In a strongly-worded letter to Singh, Modi had asked why such important decisions were taken without consulting the affected states.

Pawar had said that the Commerce and Textiles ministries had kept him in the dark and he came to know about the decision only after a notification was issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade on Monday.

"While taking such a decision, it is always proper to discuss it in Cabinet Committee on Prices or in Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs as is done with wheat, rice, sugar. So, I have raised this issue with the Prime Minister. This is highly objectionable," he had said.

Defending the decision, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said "a judicious and considered view was taken" and that he would speak to Pawar on the matter.