NEW DELHI — The Indian government is looking urgently into whether it should keep the controversial cotton export ban that was announced on Monday by the textile ministry.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh ordered a review of the matter on Thursday, and although this was started on Friday with a high powered discussion on the matter, the end of the day left the situation unresolved.
India is the second largest producer of cotton globally, and its withdrawal from cotton exports has left the world markets murmuring and changing in response.
China lodged a formal protest against the ban and on Thursdsay the Bangladesh commerce secretary expressed his concern about it and the repercussions it would have. “We think it is against the norms of international trade,” he said.
The decision has its opponents at home as well, apart from the political problems of balancing the needs of the textile industry, keeping cotton farmers happy and maintaining the highest possible prices for cotton.
In addition, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said he was not consulted before the decision was announced and is now among the ministers reviewing whether the ban should be lifted.
The committee will meet again on Saturday.
So far, 9.4 million bales have been exported in this fiscal year The textile ministry believes that this is a higher number than they anticipated.