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Centre bans export of non-basmati white rice to check price rise

The domestic prices of rice are on an increasing trend.

The domestic prices of rice are on an increasing trend. , Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Centre banned the export of non-basmati white rice on Thursday. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Union Commerce Ministry announced in a notification that the ban would come into effect immediately and exemptions would be given only if the loading of non-basmati rice on the ship had commenced before the notification or the shipping bill was filed and vessels had already berthed or arrived and anchored in Indian ports. This variety of rice constitutes 25% of the total rice export from the country.

The Union Food Ministry, in a statement, said the step was taken to ensure adequate availability of non- basmati white rice in the domestic market and to curb the price rise. Non basmati rice was exported under the category ‘Free with export duty of 20%’. “The domestic prices of rice are on an increasing trend. The retail prices have increased by 11.5% over a year and 3% over the past month,” the statement added.

Export duty of 20% on non-basmati white rice was imposed last year to lower the price and to ensure availability in the domestic market. “However, the export of this variety increased from 33.66 lakh metric tonnes (September-March 2021-22) to 42.12 LMT (September-March 2022-23) even after imposition of 20% export duty,” the Centre said adding that in 2023 -24, about 15.54 LMT of this variety of rice was exported against only 11.55 LMT during in 2022-23, an increase by 35%. “This sharp increase in exports can be ascribed to high international prices due to geo-political scenario, El Nino sentiments and extreme climatic conditions in other rice-producing countries, etc,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry added that there was no change in the export policy of non-basmati rice (par boiled rice) and basmati rice, which forms the bulk of rice exports. “This will ensure that the farmers continue to get the benefit of remunerative prices in the international market,” the Ministry added.

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