The central government has extended the 20 per cent export duty on parboiled rice till March 31, 2024, an official notification said.
Rice which is partially boiled with husk is called parboiled rice.
Initially, the duty was introduced on August 25, 2023, and was due to remain effective till October 16, 2023, aimed at maintaining adequate domestic availability and checking its price.
India in July amended the rice export norms putting the non-basmati white rice in the “prohibited” category. The export policy relating to non-basmati white rice (Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed: Other) was revised from “free” to “prohibited”.
However, it has kept open the option, where exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their government.
West African country Benin is one of the major importers of non-basmati rice from India. Other destination countries are Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Cote D’ Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Vietnam, Djibouti, Madagascar, Cameroon Somalia, Malaysia, Liberia, and UAE.
In late August, India also introduced additional safeguards on exports of basmati rice so as to prevent exports of non-basmati white rice, which was already under the prohibited category since July.
The government had said it received credible field reports regarding misclassification and illegal export of non-basmati white rice. “It has been reported that non-basmati white rice is being exported under the HS codes of parboiled rice and basmati rice,” the government had then said in a statement.
The government noticed that despite restrictions put on certain varieties, rice exports have been high during the current year.
Against that backdrop, it has issued instructions to APEDA, which regulates agricultural produce exports, to introduce additional safeguards to prevent the possible illegal exports of white non-basmati rice in the garb of basmati rice.
The government suggested contracts for basmati exports with a value of USD 1200 per tonne only and above should be registered for the issue of Registration-cum- Allocation Certificate (RCAC); and contracts with a value of below USD 1200 per tonne may be kept abeyance and may be evaluated by a committee to be set up by the Chairman, APEDA.
Notably, India in September 2022 banned the exports of broken rice and imposed a 20 per cent duty on exports of non-Basmati rice, except for parboiled rice amid concerns about overestimated low production due to a fall in area under the paddy crop. It later lifted the ban in November.