Pawar complains to PM on cotton, sugar exports (Lead)

April 12th, 2012 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the restriction on cotton exports would have an adverse impact on farmers.

Targeting the ministries of food and textiles, Pawar wrote to the prime minister Tuesday saying that the policies of the two departments were going against the interests of the farmer.

The letter came a day after a group of ministers Monday restricted cotton export to 13 million bales for the current year.

“Cotton farmers should not be asked to bear the burden of subsidising textile mills,” Pawar said in his letter, indicating that the decision would benefit textile companies.
The Congress said it was up to the prime minister to take a decision on Pawar’s letter.

“We do not know the details of the letter. The prime minister will go through it and take an appropriate decision,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has also opposed the restriction on cotton exports.

Experts said farmers are suffering due to high input costs and low return from the cotton produce.

Pawar also expressed his concern on sugar exports and said: “The negativity prevalent in the department can be gauged from the fact that though the decision to allow sugar exports of 10 lakh tonnes was taken on March 26 no orders have been issued till date.”

Sources said Pawar’s move was aimed at building pressure on the government.

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