New Delhi, August 27
The government on Sunday announced new export control measures to check the domestic prices and ensure domestic food security in rice, especially the non basmati white rice which is being misclassified for exports.
The Commerce Ministry has now asked Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to register and allot contracts for Basmati exports which cost a minimum of $1,200 per ton.
APEDA should keep contracts below this value in abeyance and evaluate them by a committee headed by its Chairman.
The committee must find out the variation in prices and use of this route for export of non-Basmati white rice.
The government’s suspicions have been aroused because of the large variation in the contract price of Basmati being exported. The lowest contract price is as low as $359 per ton as against the average export price of $1,214 during the current month.
The Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month to enable a decision on the low value basmati rice exports.
Despite restriction on certain varieties, rice exports have been high during the current year. Up to August 17, total rice exports (except broken rice) were 7.33 million ton compared to 6.37 million ton during the corresponding period of previous year, registering an increase of 15 per cent.
There has been a spurt in the export of both parboiled rice and Basmati rice; both of these varieties did not have any restriction on exports.
The export of parboiled rice has grown by 21.18 per cent and export of Basmati rice has increased by 9.35 per cent.
Export of non-basmati white rice (export duty of 20 per cent since last year and banned from July this year), has also registered an increase of 4.36 per cent.
On the other hand, as per the third Advance Estimate of Department of Agriculture, during the Rabi Season 2022-23, production was only 15.89 million ton against 18.471 million ton during the previous Rabi, a decline of 13.84 per cent.
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