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Textile industry hails cabotage relaxation

Cabotage relaxation would prove a boon to the textile industry as it would help move cotton fast and cost effectively too.

The textile industry has hailed the latest round of cabotage relaxation as it would help in faster transportation of cotton.

The Southern India Mills’ Association Chairman P Nataraj said it would benefit cotton farmers in Gujarat and spinning mills in Tamil Nadu.

 “The mills in the State consume around 50 lakh bales of cotton grown in Gujarat every year as its fibre quality parameters are preferred by the knitted garment makers in Tirupur. But we were losing heavily on transporting the cotton,” he said.

During the peak cotton season, the lorry freight per bale between the ginning factories in Gujarat and spinning mills in Tamil Nadu can touch a high of Rs. 1,000, while the transportation cost for importing the fibre from West Africa worked out to just Rs. 400/bale.

This forces the industry to transport the fibre by rail and ship. But the price difference between lorry and these modes of transport was less than 10 per cent. The industry sought relaxation of the cabotage rule for transporting cotton from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu and use of foreign-flagged vessels to carry cotton.

Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari has always been repeating that the transport by the coastal shipping is less expensive compared with the cost incurred due to road transport. Besides, sea-transport, apart from decongesting the road, cuts carbon footprint, a long-term advantage that helps the transport in its efforts to go green.

The SIMA Chairman perceives that the foreign-flagged vessels might be in a position to offer a competitive rate as a large number of empty foreign containers are transported between the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu Ports.


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