Government considers lowering minimum export price on basmati rice to $850 per tonne
"We are very seriously looking at it. I have had many meetings with rice exporter associations in India. We have compiled the data of basmati rice exports to different parts of the world and different varieties of basmati rice," Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The government is considering reducing the minimum export price (MEP) of basmati rice to USD 850 per tonne from USD 1,200 per tonne at present. The issue was flagged by various food product importers here during a meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
"We are very seriously looking at it. I have had many meetings with rice exporter associations in India. We have compiled the data of basmati rice exports to different parts of the world and different varieties of basmati rice," Goyal said.
"And we hope that very soon we'll be able to come up with a very fair price, which all of the industry is very happy about," he told reporters here.
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He was replying to a question about whether the government is considering their demand to cut the MEP on basmati rice.
The Indian rice industry has also demanded the same.
Rajya Sabha member from Punjab Vikramjit Singh Sahney has also urged the Centre to rationalise the USD 1,200 per tonne minimum export price on basmati rice as it is adversely impacting the shipments.
Industry has stated that due to the USD 1,200 per tonne MEP, Indian exporters lose their hard-earned buyer base to Pakistan, which is a competitor of India in this segment.
In August, the government decided not to allow exports of basmati rice below USD 1,200 per tonne to restrict possible "illegal" shipment of white non-basmati rice in the garb of premium basmati rice.
Talking about his two-day visit to the UAE, which concluded today, Goyal said that both countries discussed ways to promote trade and investments.
"Over the last two days, I've had the privilege of engaging with many chambers of commerce and professional bodies. We met with the Abu Dhabi Chamber...Senior members and big business persons," he said.
He also interacted with food importers from the Gulf region and Egypt and chartered accountants who are present in the UAE.
The accountants "assured me that they will act as a living bridge between UAE companies and Indian companies to promote trade and investments between the two countries," he said.
The minister also held deliberations with large sovereign wealth funds with ministers of the government of UAE.
"I have appealed to the Chartered Accountants of the UAE to promote India as an investment destination and to help UAE companies select good promoters, select good projects and ensure that trade between the two countries grows to the highest level possible," he added.
About a suggestion to set up an APEDA office here, he said that it is a good suggestion and he is taking it with a very positive outlook.
"I'm going to go back and discuss with my teams there. And I think in the near future, we will look to establish one body," he said.
Goyal also met with CEOs of leading UAE companies Emaar, Sharaf and DP World in Dubai and discussed their investment plans in India.
He assured them of India's commitment to facilitate UAE investments in India.
Earlier in the day, Goyal interacted with leading food sector companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and Egypt.
Given India's pre-eminent role as the food security partner in the region, the meeting focussed on ways to promote greater trade and investments in the food sector between India and the GCC countries.