Ban on rice, wheat exports extended till next April

August 21st, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) India on Thursday decided to extend the ban on exports of rice, wheat and pulses till next April in an effort to keep the staple food grain prices under control.The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting Thursday, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The decision to ban export of paddy, wheat and pulses till April 30 next year is expected to help tackle the problem of rising prices and improve availability of these commodities,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the meeting.

In a bid to rein in inflation that is currently hovering at over 12 percent, the Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) had in March banned the export of non-basmati rice, and increased the minimum export price (MEP) for basmati rice to $1,200 per tonne.

Export of pulses and wheat has already been banned till April 30, 2009, a decision that the government took last year.

The government has also banned the export of edible oils with effect from March 17 for one year.

The export of maize has been banned till October 15.

The government has the target to achieve production of 129 million tonnes of rice by 2011-12 at a growth rate of 3.7 percent, along with other food grain.

India’s food grain production was estimated at 230.67 million tonnes in 2007-08.

As per the fourth Advance Estimates of Crop Production for 2007-08, food production rose 13.39 million tonnes to 230.67 million tonnes, as compared to 217.28 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The production of rice stood at 96.43 million tonnes, wheat 78.40 million tonnes, coarse cereals 40.73 million tonnes, maize 19.31 million tonnes, pulses 15.11 million tonnes, and oilseeds 28.82 million tonnes.

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