Minister Goyal holds an interactive meeting with Textile Advisory Group 

New Delhi: Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal held an interactive meeting with the newly constituted Textile Advisory Group at IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mumbai yesterday.

Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary Textiles initiated deliberations with the Textile Advisory Group which has Senior Officials from the Union Ministries of Textiles, Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Commerce, Officials from Research and Development sector, Senior Official from the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd., and stakeholders. The whole of textile value chain was represented in the consultations through lead associations and experts in the meeting.

Shri Suresh Kotak, Chairman of the Textile Advisory Group & renowned veteran cotton person, chaired the meeting of Textile Advisory Group constituted in pursuance of the directions of Shri Goyal on 17.05.2022 during the Stakeholders consultative meeting at New Delhi.

He particularly stressed the need to ensure seed availability for sowing especially new early maturing varieties and need to revamp seed system to enhance productivity of Indian cotton from present stagnation. He elaborated on possible approaches to augment availability of cotton relating to stock possibilities domestically and from other countries.

Position on availability of cotton now was brought out and request was made to help logistics to ensure shipping in time from three sources internationally. He said that as per estimates of Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption, carry over/closing stock is 41.27 lakh bales, which is about 12.66% stock to use ratio and equivalent to stock for 45 days consumption. Emphasizing on the need of thinking and working together on principle of “I am because WE are” for the cotton economy.

To look at productivity issues, C.D. Mayee, President, Indian Society for Cotton Improvement highlighted various aspects of cotton agro-economy including latest technique of PB knot to protect cotton crop from pink bollworm attack. Shri Vikas Patil, Director of Extension and Training, Commissionerate of Agriculture, Maharashtra put forth initiatives by the Government of Maharashtra relating to productivity enhancement, value chain development and pink bollworm management in Cotton.

Shri Goyal exhorted that containment of factors impinging on productivity need to be tackled in time bound project mode manner and the industry should participate in self regulatory mode. The Ginning segment should take responsibility and make pheromone trap technology mandatory to monitor and prevent spread of Pink Bollworm pest attack from Ginneries and oil extraction units to cotton crop in farmers’ fields.

He suggested that everyone be sensitized for compulsory use of pheromone trap technology through the wide network of the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd., combined with efforts of the State Governments in this regard.

The Minister also urged the industry to develop models for improving Ginning efficiency and outturn. Shri Goyal also emphasized the need for protecting cotton crop from pink bollworm attack with contributions from Cotton Corporation of India Ltd., Cotton Association of India, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry and the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.

Addressing the need of accuracy of statistics across the value chain to enable policy decision, trade facilitation, traceability etc., Shri Goyal directed that a portal be created with inputs of Cotton Association, Ginners as well as Confederation of Indian Textile Industry & the Southern India Mills’ Association.

The portal to work on self-compliance mode. If persuation and self-compliance do not yield results then ‘disincentives’ can be built in the systems like Cotton Corporation of India Ltd., not to do any transactions with such defaulter and any Govt. benefits be linked to submission of details.

The core issue of Seed quality was deliberated in detail with dedicated action for current season. Joint Secretary, Seeds intimated that sufficient quantity of seed is available to meet the domestic requirement. Industry opined need to distinguish right from wrong types. Shri Goyal emphasized to do campaigns in farming areas to control sale of spurious illegal seeds.

While addressing the approaches for augmentation in short term by import, Secretary, Textiles Shri Upendra Prasad Singh advised industry to approach Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare for procedural requirements to enable import from some destinations. As regards extension of period of wavier of import duty up to 31.12.2022, Shri Goyal directed the concerned authorities to finalise the matter early.

Inputs on packaging material in HDPE/ colour thereof would need to be facilitated with the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers. The meeting was co-ordinated jointly by the Textile Commissioner and Cotton Corporation of India Ltd.