Due to increased adulteration with substances like comber noil and other cotton waste by Gujarat’s ginners, textile mills in Tamil Nadu have drastically cut back cotton procurement from Gujarat in favour of states like Telangana and Maharashtra.
The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has also written to the Union textile ministry seeking intervention in this regard. Till 2015, mills of Tamil Nadu used to procure about 50-60 lakh bales from Gujarat alone. Last year, owing to adulteration, procurement was reduced by almost 60 per cent and shifted to other states. This year, a similar trend is seen. Probably the practice of adulteration is only followed by 10 per cent of ginners in Gujarat. But SIMA is worried about farmers in Gujarat. If prices drop because the products are not quality-compliant, what the poor farmers will do, asked K Selvaraju, secretary general of SIMA.
Interestingly, prices for cotton waste like comber noil which is used in large quantities for currency printing and medical textiles, have also seen an increase over the last couple of months. From Rs. 60 per kg in October, cotton waste is now sold at Rs. 80 per kg. Several mills in Tamil Nadu allege this is due to increased demand by ginners in Gujarat, who are looking to mix the waste with virgin cotton. More than 50 per cent of the cotton used by mills in Tamil Nadu are from Gujarat.
Meanwhile, ginners in Gujarat aren’t worried about Tamil Nadu’s mills shifting purchase orders. As Dilip Patel, President, All Gujarat Ginners’ Association said only 20 per cent of cotton produced in Gujarat is sent to mills of South India. Earlier, demand was more now consumption by local mills has increased along with export orders. By later this year, about 40 lakh spinning units are expected to come up in Gujarat alone, which will increase the state’s consumption to 65 lakh bales.