Source: The Hindu Businessline

OUR BUREAU

MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 30

The Cotton Association of India (CAI) plans to go on a token strike on December 15 protesting against what they called the strain caused by GST and the reverse charge mechanism, in particular. In a statement on Thursday, the Association said that if the issue is not addressed at the next GST Council meeting, scheduled for December 21, it will go on an indefinite strike from the next day.

The action follows a recent joint meeting of the industry convened by the association, which has about 70 ginners as members. The meeting deliberated on the issue of Reverse Charge Mechanism which makes ginners responsible for the GST to be paid by farmers. This apart, the meeting also discussed the pending refunds from government to exporters since July after the GST roll-out, besides dwelling on the plight of the entire cotton industry.’

Manjeet Singh Chawla, President, Madhyanchal Cotton Ginners and Traders Association, said ginners have to bear the GST of farmers as they do not pay the tax while selling cotton and this has led to blockage of ginners’ funds. Requesting the association to take up the matter with the government, he said the reverse charge mechanism on cotton has spoilt the relationship between spinners and ginners.

Omprakash Jain, President, Karnataka Cotton Association, said the ginners will be left with no option but to shut their operations if the issue is not resolved soon. BS Rajpal, President of the Maharashtra Cotton Ginners’ Association, said that RCM has been imposed only on cotton and not on other agriculture commodities which is totally unjust.

Manish Daga, Director, Cotton Association of India, said about 2,700 farmers are switching from cotton to other cash crops. This year, he said, cotton farmers have already suffered huge losses due to climatic conditions and pink bollworm problems. If the RCM continues, the cotton farming will substantially reduce in India and affect the whole textile sector, he added.

Ravinder Reddy, President, Telangana Cotton Millers & Traders Welfare Association, said cotton growers were badly affected by the pink bollworm attack, and the uncertain rain in Telangana. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)