Ministry of Textiles06-March, 2013 14:57 IST
Purchase of Cotton by Middlemen in Andhra Pradesh
In cotton season 2012-13, seed kapas prices in Andhra Pradesh fell below the MSP prices. Ministry of Textiles in consultation with State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Cotton Corporation of India put in place an effective mechanism for conduct of timely and efficient MSP operations by operationalization of 100 procurement centers in the districts of Warangal, Guntur and Adilabad so that farmers may not incur losses.

Cotton Corporation of India has procured 22.60 lac bales in November-February 2013 period effectively stabilizing seed kapas prices and ensured farmers in Andhra Pradesh received timely and remunerative prices.

Ministry of Textiles received one reference from Lok Sabha Secretariat following the winter session of Parliament 2012 as a special mention which cited middlemen posing as farmers were selling cotton to Cotton Corporation of India. The supervisory measures for farmer identification were further strengthened with procurement taken up under the strict supervision of a nominated official from State Government and an official of the Cotton Corporation of India to ensure that procurement is directly from farmers only.

Ministry of Textiles in December 2012 following comprehensive reviews of cotton procurement under MSP operations issued guidelines to streamline procurement operations by formulation of a mandi operation plan, physical verification of stocks by Vigilance teams, procurement to be coterminous with storage area available, out-turn verification, moisture content verification and ensuring adequate documentation by Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) as also adequate fire prevention measures. Norms for inspection and supervision by senior management of Cotton Corporation of India were issued, vigilance supervision and Board level supervision strengthened.

Cotton Corporation of India was directed to enhance coordination with State Government and District Collectors with APMCs being responsible for farmer identification.

From March 2013, cotton prices have risen above MSP prices and Cotton Corporation of India is no longer conducting any procurement under MSP operations.

This information was given by the Minister of Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

******


DS/RK
(Release ID :93093)