Buckling under pressure from its allies, the government on Sunday decided to lift the ban on cotton exports in the "interests" of farmers, industry and trade.
"Keeping in view the facts, the interests of the farmers, interest of the industry, trade, a balanced view has been considered by the Group of Ministers (GoM) to roll back the ban ," Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said, adding that a formal order to lift the ban will be issued on Monday.
The decision was taken by the GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, last Friday, after a directive from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "urgently" review the decision, amid stiff opposition from Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Gujarat and Maharashtra, two main cotton producing states, had also demanded immediate lifting of the ban imposed last week.
On March 5, the Commerce Ministry had imposed the ban on cotton exports on the grounds that the country had already shipped 10 lakh bales more than the exportable surplus and it had reduced the domestic availability.
However, Pawar, who heads Nationalist Congress Party - a coalition partner in the UPA government - had termed the ban "highly objectionable".
"They (Commerce and Textiles ministries) kept me in the dark. I came to know about this only after a notification was issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)," he had said.