No restriction for rice exports, say Govt officials

The comments come on the heels of talks in the global market that after banning wheat exports and limiting sugar shipments, the Indian government could next target Non-Basmati rice. The Indian government has no plans to ban rice (Non­-Basmati) exports or announce any curbs on its shipments, two officials involved in the decision ­making have said.

According to official data, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has record stocks of 33.27 million tonnes (mt) of rice and 26.61 mt of paddy (16.92 mt rice) as of May 1 in this year. The stocks are against the mandatory requirement of 11.58 mt operational stocks and 2 mt of strategic reserves of rice. The figures are higher than in the last year.

Delhi ­based trade analyst S Chandrasekaran said, if the rumours were “a specific design to increase global market prices and change the global trade”. additionally, he said, the Centre government should probe if “some domestic forces are attempting to create rice inflation” in India in order to fuel food inflation.

According to Chandrasekaran, the government has to checkout two things. “One is the diversion of rice instead of wheat in the public distribution system of some States. How much rice will be diverted and what will be its impact on the FCI stocks? “Second is the upcoming kharif season. How will the monsoon behave and will production be affected? This will be clear only in October. possibly, the government might review the situation then,” he said.

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