DGFT lifts ban on export of rice, but only for cargoes stuck at ports

When India announced an immediate ban on the export of non-basmati and broken white rice on 20th July, the decision’s impact was felt on multiple levels. However, the foremost was to the rice exporters with as much as 200,000 tonnes of rice getting stuck at ports. Traders said that there was an absence of Customs clearance before the ban was put into effect. In the latest development, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) decided yesterday to let off the rice consignments stuck at ports.

The DGFT also said that the traders will be allowed to ship their trapped cargoes if their respective records show payment of export duty by July 20th, in retrospect. After the DGFT order, around 150,000 tonnes of non-basmati white rice cargoes would be shipped out of various ports, said Prem Garg, president of the Indian Rice Exporters Federation.

India accounts for 40% of world rice exports and sells the staple to more than 150 countries, including a few poor and vulnerable countries in Africa and Asia. The permission to allow the cargoes stuck at ports will not only help Indian suppliers, it will also help consumers in some of the most needy countries, Garg said.

After banning non-basmati white rice exports, India on Friday imposed a 20% tax on parboiled rice shipments and introduced a floor price for overseas sales of basmati rice, as part of efforts to keep a lid on local prices.

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