The Central Government, in its wisdom has slapped a 11 percent import duty on cotton. The fact, however, remains that it does not protect anyone. Rather it has harmed the textile industry. The masure will only add to its costs and reduce profitability. Industry leaders have been demanding exemption of the duty to allow imports without any hassles but of no avail. Imports of Extra Long Staple cotton (ELS) – which are not produced domestially are required by industry – approximately 10-15 lakh bales a year. Thus, a levy which does not benefit any segment of the industry is being continued. Experts term it a “retrograde” step.