No immediate plans to import rice, says Scindia

March 8th, 2010 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) The government Monday said it can import rice only if there is a shortfall in procurement from farmers but it has no immediate plans to import.
“The government has no immediate plans to import rice. We may do so if there is shortfall in rice procurement,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Jyotiraditya Scindia told parliament.

“There is no proposal to lift a ban on non-basmati rice exports either,” the minister added.

India is the second largest producer of rice and wheat. According to government estimates, rice production is expected to fall to 87.56 million tonnes from 99.18 million tonnes a year earlier.

The government has banned export of non-basmati rice since October 2007 to ensure its availability in the domestic market.

India’s exports of basmati rice between April and September 2009 touched over Rs.62 billion ($1.4 billion), Scindia said.

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