Gov­ern­ment re­verses move on ban­ning cot­ton ex­ports

The Washington Times Daily - - Business -

NEW DELHI | In­dia on Sun­day reversed its ban on cot­ton ex­ports in a swift U-turn just six days af­ter the pol­icy an­nounce­ment was greeted with outrage from farm­ers.

The gov­ern­ment of In­dia, the world’s sec­ond-largest pro­ducer of cot­ton, un­ex­pect­edly banned all ex­ports of the crop last Mon­day, say­ing it wanted to pro­tect sup­plies for do­mes­tic mills.

Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh or­dered a rapid re­view of the decision af­ter fury from farm­ing groups and com­plaints by the agri­cul­ture min­is­ter, who said he knew noth­ing about the ban be­fore it was un­veiled.

“Keep­ing in view the facts, the in­ter­ests of the farm­ers, in­ter­est of the in­dus­try, trade, a bal­anced view has been con­sid­ered by the Group of Min­is­ters to roll back the ban,” Com­merce Min­is­ter Anand Sharma said on Sun­day.

Mr. Sharma added in a state­ment that the for­mal or­der to lift the ban would be is­sued on Mon­day.

The re­ver­sal comes af­ter a se­ries of pol­icy set­backs for the gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the with­drawal in De­cem­ber of ma­jor re­forms to the re­tail sec­tor in a move that was widely seen as a public em­bar­rass­ment for Mr. Singh.

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