No proposal to lift ban on non-basmati rice export: ministry

September 24th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) There is presently no proposal under consideration for lifting the ban on export of non-basmati rice, the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said here Wednesday.The ministry headed by Sharad Pawar, said in a statement that any such decision would be taken only after assessing the progress of paddy and rice procured during the kharif (summer) marketing season 2008-09.

“Presently, there is no proposal under consideration before this department (read ministry) for lifting ban on export of any other varieties of non-basmati rice,” the ministry said in an official communiqué.

“The progress of paddy and rice procured in the kharif marketing season 2008-09 and based on the open market price of rice and availability in different parts of the country, a decision will be taken on continuation or lifting of ban on export of rice,” the statement said.

The ministry said the harvesting of paddy crop was likely to start from the first week of October, and procurement will start from Sep 22 in Haryana, while a week later in Punjab.

The ministry said there was the possibility of some paddy crop to get damaged due to recent floods in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Punjab.

“The assessment of the damage is being made in consultation with the state governments,” it added.

The government has allowed the export of Pusa 1,121 variety of non-basmati rice on the request of Haryana. The export of this rice, mainly grown in Punjab and Haryana, will start from Oct 15 this year.

The government March 31 this year banned the export of non-basmati rice, and increased minimum export price for basmati rice to $1,200 per tonne to rein in inflation.

The estimated production of rice in 2007-08 season stood at 96.43 million tonnes. The government has the target to achieve production of 129 million tonnes of rice by 2011-12.

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