ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Significant Pause

No Satisfactory Explanation Nishtar NEITHER Foreign Trade Minister Mishra's announcement of Government's decision to import another 5 lakh bales of cotton in addition to 8.25 lakh bales originally scheduled, nor the Indian Cotton Mills' Federation' decision to resort to a voluntary/statutory 15 per cent cut in fibre consumption and a block closure for 15 days, which of course is subject to the Government's sanction, has had the slightest effect on the market. Cotton prices have, on the contrary, soared to new high levels. But this need not cause much surprise. One did not expect the market to respond quickly to the Government's decision on additional imports when even out of the 8.25 lakh bales quota announced very early in the season, nearly half the quantity has still to be issued and physical imports against the quotas already released had amounted to only a little over 36,000 bales up to the end of October. As for self-discipline by mills, it has always been honoured more in breach than in observance. It should be obvious that if the Federation were reasonably sure that voluntary restraint would work, it would not have urged the Government to authorise the Textile Commissioner to "issue necessary orders to bring about a statutory reduction of 15 per cent in consumption of all fibres by each mill". This speaks very poorly for the Federation.

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