New Delhi: The government on Sunday said that it has decided not to allow exports of basmati rice below $1,200 per tonne to restrict possible “illegal” shipment of white non-basmati rice in the garb of premium basmati rice. In a statement, the commerce ministry said it has directed trade promotion body APEDA not to register contracts below $1,200 per tonne.Existing contracts below $1,200 per tonne have been kept in abeyance.
A committee under the chairman of APEDA will be set up to evaluate future course of action.India had banned the export of non-basmati white rice on July 20 this year. The statement read, “The Government has received credible field reports regarding misclassification and illegal export of non-basmati white rice, export of which has been prohibited with effect from 20 July 2023. It has been reported that non-basmati white rice is being exported under the HS codes of parboiled rice and Basmati rice.”
As the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is responsible for regulation of export of Basmati rice and already has a web-based system in place for the purpose, the Government has issued instructions to APEDA to introduce additional safeguards to prevent the possible illegal exports of white non-basmati rice in the garb of Basmati rice. It said: “Contracts for Basmati exports with the value of $1,200 per MT only and above should be registered for issue of Registration – cum – Allocation Certificate (RCAC).”
“Contracts with the value of below $1,200 per MT may be kept in abeyance and may be evaluated by a committee to be set up by the Chairman, APEDA, for understanding the variation in prices and use of this route for export of non-Basmati white rice,” it said. It also said that it has been noted that there has been large variation in the contract price of Basmati being exported with lowest contract price being $359 per MT in backdrop of average export price of $1214 per MT during the current month.
The Committee should submit its report within a period of one month, whereafter a decision on lower price exports of Basmati planned by industry can be taken appropriately, it said.APEDA should hold consultations with trade to sensitise them about the matter and work with them to discourage any use of this window for export of non-basmati white rice, the statement read.