Government allows export of premium rice variety Pusa-1121

Mumbai: The government has announced a partial easing of export curbs on non-basmati rice, allowing shipments of the premium Pusa-1121 variety of the grain, subject to some restrictions.

Exports of Pusa-1121 non-basmati rice variety would be allowed at a minimum export price of $1,200 (or Rs48,000) per tonne, a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said.

The shipments would, however, be allowed only through ports at Kandla, Kakinada, Kolkata, JNPT Mumbai, Mundra and Pipavav.

The government had banned export of non-basmati rice in April this year to boost domestic supplies and keep a check on soaring inflation, which has touched a 16-year high above 12 per cent.

India, the world's biggest producer of rice after China, banned exports of non-basmati rice while kept basmati exports open under government set prices.

The government has proposed to allow overseas sales of Pusa-1121 from 15 October out of the paddy procured in Kharif marketing season 2008-09 subject to registration of contracts with APEDA prior to shipment.

Rice prices have fallen 25 per cent from a record in April as Thailand and Vietnam, the top suppliers, raised export forecasts this year after farmers increased plantings.

High rice prices have spurred sowing of paddy in India by 5 per cent to 34.5 million hectares and the agriculture ministry expects output to top last year's record 96.43 million tonnes.