As the deadline for importing duty-free cotton in India was met yesterday, an industry body has urged the government to extend the period for duty-free cotton imports to November 30. Recent disruptions in global supply chain have delayed the India-bound cotton imports from Australia and US.
It is to be noted that the government had decided to waive the import duty on cotton till September 30, 2022, when the new season began, and the period was later extended till October 31. Now, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) has urged textile minister Piyush Goyal to further extend the period for another month. CAI has said that shipments of already concluded cotton import contracts to India have left the ports of supplier countries i.e., Australia and the US, which are currently stuck in transit. Acute shortage of containers also added to the problems of the importers.
According to CAI, the shipments will be delayed by about four weeks in reaching the Indian ports. Extension in period of duty-free import will facilitate the importers to receive the natural fibre as per government’s policy. It will also mitigate the sufferings of Indian importers.
However, cotton prices dropped around 44 per cent from its peak of ₹108,000 per candy of 356 kg. According to industry sources, it will be very difficult for the government to decide on the request when peak arrival season is set to begin in India. Cotton prices are expected to further drop when arrival increases in the weeks to come.