December 1: India has lifted the ban on export of rice products citing adequate production to meet its domestic demand. The southern neighbor had banned the export of certain rice products in September fearing scarcity of food amid Russia-Ukraine war.
However, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India on Tuesday issued a public notice informing about the decision to lift such ban.
Earlier, on September 8, India had banned the export of broken rice and imposed a 20 percent duty on export of all varieties of rice except basmati rice.
India’s decision on export restrictions of essential food came under fire at the World Trade Organization (WTO). A number of countries including European nations and the United States also posed questions about the adverse effects on global markets due to India’s decision.
India’s move to lift the export ban on rice products is expected to ease the supply in Nepal as well as lower the prices.
According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade of India, the country exported rice worth US $ 5.5 billion between April and September. India supplies rice to over 150 countries across the globe.
Last month, the Indian government partially lifted the restriction for Nepal.
India decided not to charge duty for the annual export of 600,000 metric tons of paddy for Nepal. Last year, Nepal imported 5.5 million tons of rice from India. Based on this data, the industrialists of Nepal had requested India not to levy duty on imports of at least 600,000 tons of rice.
India has also scrapped export taxes on low-grade iron ore and on some intermediate steel products in the third week of November.
Similarly, the Tea Board of India on October 18 lifted the ban imposed on blending of tea produced in Nepal with Darjeeling tea. The export of tea produced in Nepal is expected to grow with the board’s decision to remove the ban that was in place since one year.
However, the Government of India has extended the ban imposed on export of sugar by one year. The Indian government took such decision to ensure the availability of sugar in the domestic market of India and also to control its price.
The Government of India had initially banned the export of sugar from June 1 to October 31 so as to control the rising price of sugar. Issuing a recent notice, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade said that the export ban will remain in force until October 31, 2023.
India’s move is certain to increase the price of sugar in the domestic market of Nepal. Authorities expect blackmarketing to flourish amid such ban.
Nepal produces 180,000 tons of sugar annually while the demand for sugar in the domestic market is 280,000 tons. As a result, Nepal has been importing 100,000 tons of sugar every year.