The government has imposed 20 per cent export duty on parboiled rice with immediate effect in view of a surge in shipments. According to a notification issued by Ministry of Finance last night, this export duty will be in force till October 15.
The commerce ministry will also soon notify a minimum export price (MEP) of $ 1200/tonne on basmati rice export to restrict shipments.
Seen as part of measures to control inflation as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address, fresh measures on export of rice, a key staple for the majority of population, will ensure higher domestic availability, officials said.
Though the Finance Ministry says that the export duty comes into force with immediate effect, the exporters who have contracted earlier (before the notification date) are allowed to export their consignments at zero duty until October 15, traders said.
The objective is to slow down/delay shipments, sources said. The government will also have a fair idea about expected rice production by October 15, the sources said.
The decision to impose MEP on basmati rice has been taken by the committee of secretaries (CoS), headed by the cabinet secretary on August 21., sources said. However, unlike for other commodities in which Director General of Foreign Trade notifies the MEP, in case of basmati, the agri-export promotion body Apeda will implement it, the sources said. basmati rice export is allowed only after registration of contract with Apeda which issues certificates to exporters allowing shipments.
Though overall acreage of paddy in current kharif season is 4 per cent higher than year-ago, per data released by Agriculture Ministry on August 25, the condition of crops in Southern States is in “bad shape”, experts said pointing to deficient rainfall in many parts. Karnataka, for instance, has received 75 per cent below normal rain during August 1-25, officials said.