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Decision on rice exports draws flak

Correspondent

Kakinada: The move of the Central Government to allow the export of non-Basmati rice on the condition that the rice export price is above 450 $ per tonne has received wide spread resentment from the shipping industry.

High price rice is available on a limited a scale.

The superfine rice varieties such as Sona Masoori, Gidda Masoori are produced in a few districts and hardly sufficient for domestic consumption.

The government move was in not beneficial either to exporters or to the farmers. It is as good as continuing the blanket ban on rice exports, remarked Suresh Kumar Sarma, the president of the Customs, Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association.

Setting hurdles

He opined that the government instead of solving the problem is complicating it. “The government should view things in proper perspective. The ban on rice exports had already lowered the nation’s prestige in the eyes of the international rice traders. They lost the confidence on the Indian suppliers because of the uncertain policies of the government,” he said.

Plea to government

Sarma want the government to lift the ban on rice exports immediately instead of toying with unrealistic ideas. Meanwhile the shipping industry at its emergency meeting convened by the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce here on Wednesday, had taken stock of the situation due to imposition of ban on rice exports and expressed its strong resentment over the government’s callousness over the number of representations from all sections of the trade for resuming rice loading operations at the anchorage port.

Review meet

They reviewed the situation at the port where as many as 19 ships have come to a standstill for the past one week, compelling the traders to pay nearly 16000 $ as demurrage on each ship.

Move deplored

The chamber regretted that local authorities remain helpless on allowing the rice shipments which have valid permits in the absence of instructions from the Centre.

They appealed to the government to relax the ban immediately to ensure prompt shipment of Rs.400 crores worth of rice stocks lying in the port godowns.

A. Radha Krishna, the in-charge president of the Chamber presided over the meet.

V V Raghavulu Babu , Suresh Kumar Sarma , Rangarao and other leading shipping agents were present.

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