The Indian government has postponed by three months its decision to implement the Cotton Bales (quality control) Order, 2023.
The order will be implemented from November 27, instead of August 28, a gazette order issued by the Ministry of Textiles late on Tuesday night said.
The decision to defer the implementation came after a request from textile organisations and trade associations during a meeting with textiles ministry officials overthe weekend.
The order, better known as cotton QCO (quality control order) was notified by the Union Textiles Ministry on February 28 and was meant to come into force 180 days after its publication in the gazette. It applies to processed cotton (ginned) and unprocessed or raw cotton (kapas).
The QCO specifies 8 per cent moisture content for cotton bales, mandates ginning mills to test at least 5 per cent of the bales, and restricts trash content in the bales below 3 per cent.
The QCO will apply to imported cotton too. The Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA) had urged the Centre to postpone the order until a consensus could be reached among all stakeholders.
The Cotton Association of India (CAI) urged Commerce and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal to defer the QCO by a “minimum of one or two years”.
Lack of infrastructure
CAI president Atul Ganatra said ginners will find it difficult to ensure 8 per cent moisture in cotton bales as it will be 10-12 per cent in lint (processed cotton) and 15-25 per cent in kapas (raw cotton) during October-December.
He pointed to the lack of adequate infrastructure to test the cotton bales, and also expressed difficulty in meeting the limit for trash content in cotton.
The Karnataka Cotton Association (KCA) sought a meeting between the textiles ministry and ginners to address and clarify “all the confusion” surrounding the QCO.
It wanted the QCO deferred until proper testing infrastructure is available, given the few labs that are accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
It called for applying the quality parameters at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards, which are the procurement centres for kapas.
Source: Business Line