India to export limited quantity of white rice to seven countries | Mint – Mint

New Delhi: India on Wednesday allowed the export of 1.34 million tonne of non-basmati white rice to seven Asian and African nations, including Nepal, Malaysia, and the Philippines, in humanitarian efforts.
According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, India will provide 95,000 tonne of white rice to Nepal, 190,000 tonne to Cameroon, 170,000 tonne to Malaysia, 295,000 tonne to the Philippines, 142,000 tonne each to Cote d’Ivoire and the Republic of Guinea, and 800 tonne to Seychelles, despite the export ban imposed on 20 July still being in effect.
The export will be done through National Cooperative Exports Ltd, a government export body that was set up under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002 to export agriculture produce and allied items.
The government had earlier approved exports of limited quantities of non-basmati white rice to  Bhutan, Mauritius, Singapore and the UAE.
“Though monsoon has been deficient during August, the Indian government agreed to allow export to the needy countries totally on humanitarian grounds. It will surely benefit exporters but will further add to food inflation in India, considering less than normal expected production of kharif crop,” a rice industry player told Mint earlier.
Amid a surge in retail inflation to a 15-month high, India has taken various measures, including export curbs, to control escalating food prices. The government in August imposed a 20% duty on parboiled rice which has recently been extended till March 2024.
“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.
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.
Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) encouraged India to remove restrictions on the export of certain categories of rice, citing the impact on global inflation.
However, the Indian government said the move was aimed at ensuring adequate availability and reducing the prices in the domestic market.
India’s move to start exporting non-basmati white rice to the above-mentioned countries is likely to reduce pressure on the global market and bring down prices to some extent.
Retail inflation in rice which has a weightage of 4.4% fell to nearly 12% in September from 12.5% in August 2023 and 9.2% in September 2022.
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