Govt hikes support price for cotton, to buy 9 million bales

The government today announced an increase of between 18 and 29 per cent in the minimum support prices (MSP) for cotton and also decided on a contingency plan to procure up to 9 million bales for the 2012-13 season.

The government has revised the minimum support price (MSP) for medium staple cotton from Rs2,800 per quintal to Rs3,600 per quintal and for long staple cotton from Rs3,300 per quintal to Rs3,900 per quintal for cotton season 2012-13.

The Cotton Advisory Board has estimated cotton production in the country at 33.4 million bales and consumption at 26 million bales, leaving an exportable surplus of 7 million bales.

The government proposes to open 288 procurement centres in nine cotton growing states.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has already raised its working capital requirement up to Rs15,000 crore for MSP operations.

CCI will operate 20 procurement centers in Punjab, 14 centers in Haryana, 28 centers in Rajasthan, 47 centers in Gujarat, 55 centers in Maharashtra, 17 centers in Andhra Pradesh, 13 centers in Karnataka and 7 centers in Orissa.