New Delhi: The Union government has scrapped import duty on rice till September 2010 to augment domestic supply, as the twin-impact of drought and floods have deepened fears of a dip in output by as much as 16 million tonnes this year.
“It is notified that the customs duty (70%) on rice has been scrapped till September 2010,” a senior official with the Central Board of Excise and Customs said. A tax expert said the customs duty has been abolished for “semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed”.
The country will also extend the deadline for duty-free imports of the raw sugar by nine months to avoid shortages from worsening, a government official said. Purchases can be made at zero tax until 31 December 2010, and the decision will soon be notified, said the official who didn’t want to be identified as the information is not yet public.