The Indian government has allowed exports of 1.43 lakh tonnes of (non-basmati) white rice to Bhutan, Mauritius and Singapore taking into account their food security.

In a notification issued on Wednesday evening, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said the exports will be done through the National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL).

The move comes in the wake of these governments approaching India for shipments of white rice to meet the food requirements of their citizens. 

Accordingly, NCEL will export 79,000 tonnes to Bhutan, 14,000 tonnes to Mauritius and 50,000 tonnes to Singapore. 

Diplomatic interests

Last week, Singapore said it had taken up the issue of tight supplies with the Indian government to relax the ban on white rice exports. On Tuesday, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India had decided to allow export of white rice to meet the food requirements of Singapore. The gesture was in view of the “very close strategic partnership”, close economic ties and strong people to people connect between both the nations.

Mauritius and Bhutan also rank high in terms of Indian diplomatic interests. 

On July 20, the Indian government banned exports of (non-basmati) white rice to control rising foodgrain prices and ensure ample supplies in the domestic market.

The move was followed by the Government imposing a 20 per cent export duty on par-boiled rice on August 26 and fixing a minimum export price of $1,200 a tonne for basmati rice exports. 

India has turned cautious on exporting rice as the south-west monsoon has been deficient over a major part of the country, threatening standing kharif crops.