Non-basmati export ban up for review

Non-basmati export ban up for review
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Jan 13 2009. 09 05 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jan 13 2009. 09 05 PM IST
New Delhi: The government will review a ban on the shipment of non-basmati rice in the first week of February, and may also provide some relief to basmati exporters.
“As far as non-basmati rice is concerned, we have not decided on it so far. We will decide on it after assessing the stock position and crop situation in the first week of February,” agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.
However, Pawar said he, along with commerce minister Kamal Nath, would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss issues relating to the export of basmati rice.
“About basmati, I think we need to provide some support. I and the commerce minister will talk to the Prime Minister on this issue and take a decision,” Pawar said.
The Union government had in April imposed a ban on the export of non-basmati rice and levied shipment duty on basmati rice, apart from raising the minimum export price by $200, or Rs9,720 now, a tonne to contain the price rise.
With inflation declining to 5.91% for the week ended 27 December from a peak of 12.91% in August and the country’s exports showing negative growth, the time seems conducive for the government to discuss the matter now.
Basmati exporters have since been demanding that the duty of Rs8,000 on the shipment of a tonne of the aromatic rice be scrapped and the minimum export price of $1,200 a tonne be reduced.
The duty on basmati export had made India uncompetitive as rival Pakistan is selling the aromatic rice at a price cheaper by around $500 a tonne.
Pakistan has cornered orders to the tune of 100,000 tonnes from European buyers this year, market sources said.
India normally exports 290,000 tonnes of basmati rice to Europe, while Pakistan sells about 30,000 tonnes in a year.
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First Published: Tue, Jan 13 2009. 09 05 PM IST