Ban on Export of Rice

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    Recently, the Ministry of Finance notified the slapping of a 20% duty on exports of rice “other than parboiled and basmati rice” with effect from September 9. 

    • Also, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry imposed a blanket ban on broken rice exports. 

    Restrictions that have been put on rice exports

    • There are four categories of rice exports. 
      • Out of these, exports in the case of two – basmati rice and parboiled non-basmati rice –are still freely allowed. 
      • The curbs are only for the other two: raw (white) and broken non-basmati rice.
    • The curbs announced will affect just under half of India’s rice exports in terms of quantity and over a third by value.

    Rationale Behind Government Ban of the Export

    • The possibility of India’s rice production declining significantly because of deficient monsoon rainfall in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal. 
    • The stocks for rice, at 40.99 mt, was quite comfortable, but the government is worried about their depletion in the event of a sub-par kharif harvest. 
      • This is more so, given the political pressure to continue the free-foodgrains scheme (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) beyond September. 
    • India has a 40% share of the world’s total rice exports.

    Parboiled and Broken Rice

    • Paddy typically has 20-21% husk (the inedible covering of the grain) and 10-11% bran (the brown outer layer of the edible kernel). 
    • What remains after removal of the husk and bran is the white raw rice that constitutes 68-69% of paddy
    • Parboiling is a process where the paddy is soaked in water, steamed and dried while retaining its outer husk. 
      • It results in the rice becoming harder with less breakage on milling.
      • The parboiled rice exported from India contains 5-15% broken grains. 
    • In raw rice, the brokens are normally up to 25%. 
      • It is the rice having 100% brokens whose exports have been prohibited.

    Source: IE