The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that it would “encourage” India to remove restrictions on export of a certain category of rice. The restrictions could exacerbate food price inflation and should be reversed, said the International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas in Washington on July 25.
On July 20, The Government of India had banned the export of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check during the upcoming festive season. This type of rice constitutes about 25 percent of the total rice exported from India. The Union Food Ministry, in a statement, had said that there would be no change in export policy of par-boiled non-basmati rice and basmati rice, which forms the bulk of exports. Gourinchas said that, in the current environment, these types of restrictions are likely to exacerbate volatility on food prices in the rest of the world, and can also lead to retaliatory measures.
The total exports of non-basmati white rice from India was $4.2 million in 2022-23 as against $2.62 million in the preceding year. Major destinations of India’s non-basmati white rice exports include the US, Thailand, Italy, Spain and Sri Lanka.
To ensure adequate availability of non-basmati white rice in the domestic market and alleviate the rise in local prices, the Government has amended the export policy from ‘Free with export duty of 20%’ to ‘Prohibited’ with immediate effect.