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Business News/ News / India/  India clears non-Basmati rice exports to Bhutan, Mauritius, Singapore
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India clears non-Basmati rice exports to Bhutan, Mauritius, Singapore

Bhutan will get 79,000 tonnes, Mauritius 14,000 tonnes and Singapore 50,000 tonnes, even as the export ban imposed on 20 July remains in place.

 (Mint)Premium
(Mint)

NEW DELHI : India on Wednesday permitted exports of limited quantities of non-basmati white rice to Bhutan, Mauritius and Singapore, according to a notification by Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Bhutan will get 79,000 tonnes, Mauritius 14,000 tonnes and Singapore 50,000 tonnes, even as the export ban imposed on 20 July remains in place.

The export will be done through National Cooperative Exports Ltd, a government export body which was set up under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002 to export agriculture produce and allied items.

“Though monsoon has been deficient during August, Indian government agreed to allow export to the needy countries totally on humanitarian ground. It will surely benefit exporters but will further add to food inflation in India, considering less than normal expected production of kharif crop," said Suraj Agarwal, CEO of Rice Villa brand.

Mint on 23 August first reported in an exception for two key diplomatic partners, India will supply 14,000 tonnes of non-basmati white rice this year to Mauritius and 79,000 tonnes to Bhutan under humanitarian operations.

On 20 August, it had reported Singapore had asked for around 110,000 tonnes of rice.

Mint on 1 August reported cargos and containers full of rice were lying at Indian ports, unshipped after the government announced export restrictions.

Tuesday’s decision brought relief to several exporters as well as ship chartering agencies.

“We are thankful to the government of India for this much awaited notification giving relief to rice exporters. This will help in clearance of loading in our breakbulk ships at Kandla port," Raajesh Bhojwani, said co-founder and managing director of RSCPL (IFSC) Pvt Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Singapore-based RBB Ship Chartering Pte Ltd.

The firm’s three vessels containing around 110,000 tonnes of rice are berthed at Kandla port in Gujarat.

Retail inflation in rice rose to 12.96% in July from 12% in June and 4.3% in July 2022.

Amid a surge in retail inflation to a 15-month high, India has taken various measures, including export curbs, to control escalating food prices.

“To ensure adequate availability of non-basmati white rice in the Indian market and to allay the rise in prices in the domestic market, the government of India has amended the export policy from ‘free with export duty of 20%’ to ‘prohibited’ with immediate effect," the government announced on 20 July, clogging ports with the grain.

On 29 August, the government issued a new notification allowing exports of non-basmati rice consignments that had been handed over to the customs before 21:57:01 hours on 20 July and been registered in custom systems.

It also allowed other consignments with similar caveats.

The period of exports will be up to 30 October this year.

In his Independence Day speech to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to bring down inflation as he readies to fight general elections, due by May, for a third term in office.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based reporter, covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate change policies for Mint. Puja reports on food security, farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy along with policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP21 in Paris. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 30 Aug 2023, 11:23 PM IST
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