Aurangabad: In a major relief to cotton growers in the state, the Cotton Corporation of India has filed an affidavit before the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court stating that cotton would be purchased from farmers till September 30. There are 85 cotton purchase centres in the state.

The affidavit is the outcome of the division bench of HC turning a writ petition of Parbhani-based cotton farmer Tryambak Siral into a PIL. Pointing out that over 50% of the cotton had not been purchased by the state, Siral, through his lawyer Vishant Kadam, moved the HC earlier this month seeking that directions be issued to the CCI and the Cotton Federation to purchase cotton from farmers as per guidelines.

 

Taking cognizance of these facts, the HC sought details related to cotton purchase in the state. While assuring anonymity to the farmers, the HC asked them to put forth their grievance with respect to the policy adopted or the procedure followed by the state for purchasing cotton.

Cotton purchase in Maharashtra is usually completed by March. However, the Covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown that followed delayed the purchase process. By the time the lockdown ended, portions of the state started receiving rainfall and authorities allegedly stopped cotton purchase, causing losses to farmers.

While suggesting that the Cotton Federation and the CCI may explore the possibility of starting more cotton purchase centres, the HC ruled, “The Federation and the CCI shall take all the steps and efforts to curtail the delay in procurement of the cotton and see to it that farmers are not kept waiting for a long period. The Federation and the CCI may give proclamation in the local newspaper that they are purchasing cotton from the agriculturist.’