11 January 2000
Indian cotton farmers want protection

INDIAN cotton farmers want customs duty on their product raised from 5.5% to 20% to combat high levels of imports.

The farmers allege that local textile factories are importing much of their raw materials.

The government has already introduced some controls on the imports which besides being cheaper are also judged to be of better quality.

India is expecting a bumper crop of 17.5 million bales for 1999-2000, against 16.3m bales last season.