The Indian Government revealed on Tuesday it is considering increasing import duties in a bid to give the country's troubled cotton industry a much-needed boost.

The announcement was made by federal Agriculture Minister, Ajit Singh, who told the Lower House of Indian Parliament that "the Government is considering increasing the import duty on cotton in view of the difficulty cotton farmers are facing".

According to the latest official figures, stocks with procurement agencies have plunged from 405,000 bales in 1999-2000 to 309,000 bales in 2000-2001, but during that period, cotton imports have plummeted from 2,201,000 bales to 160,000 bales.