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In a move that could ease tension at the ports, the union government on Tuesday allowed the export of broken rice that was in transit till September 30. India banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other types on September 8 over food security concerns. 

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade had earlier allowed rice exports till 15 September, if loading began prior to the order, and in cases where the shipping bill has been filed and vessels have arrived at their destination. 

“The central government in exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 read with section 5 of the 

foreign trade Act 1992 as amended, read with Para 1.02 and 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-20, hereby extends the period for exports of broken rice from 15 September 2022 till 30 September.

All other conditions as contained in Notification No 31 dated 8.09.2022 remain the same. Export of consignment of broken rice as permissible under Notification No 31 dated 8.09.2022 has been extended till September 30," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification read. 

Mint had earlier reported that exporters have sought a relaxed deadline for the clearance of around one million tonnes of rice stuck in transit after the government imposed a 20% export duty.

“We welcome this decision of the government, it will surely help to clear the vessels & broken rice cargo stuck at various ports across Indian ports. We also request the government a similar relaxation to be issued for duty levied on exports of permitted non-basmati rice," Raajesh Bhojwani, CEO & MD, RBB Ship Chartering Pte Ltd Singapore said. 

Foodgrain stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are at their lowest in five years. As of 16 August, combined rice and wheat stocks in the central pool stood at 52.3 million tonnes. Earlier this year, the Center had started replacing rice with wheat for its free food programme since wheat production suffered from extreme heat waves in March.

Official estimates suggest that rice sowing is down by 3.8 million hectares and the loss of production may be 10-12 million tonnes this year due to a variety of factors, including deficient rainfall.

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