India Lifts Rice Export Ban for Singapore Amidst Strategic Alliance

India Lifts Rice Export Ban for Singapore Amidst Strategic Alliance

In a move cementing their “very close strategic partnership,” India has decided to exempt Singapore from its recent ban on rice exports, as confirmed by the External Affairs Ministry.

The Ministry’s spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, emphasized the strong ties between the two nations, citing shared interests and robust economic connections. He stated, “India and Singapore enjoy a very close strategic partnership, characterized by shared interests, close economic ties, and strong people-to-people connections. In view of this special relationship, India has decided to allow the export of rice to meet the food security requirements of Singapore.”

Formal orders for this exemption are expected to be issued shortly.

This development comes on the heels of India’s ban on non-basmati rice exports on July 20, a measure aimed at stabilizing domestic prices and ensuring an adequate supply within the country.

Singapore, being a “close friend” of India, had sought to obtain rice shipments and secure an exemption from the ban. India has now granted this request.

Additionally, India has authorized traders to proceed with the shipment of their non-basmati white rice cargoes, previously held up at ports due to the export ban. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued this order recently.

Furthermore, the government has made it clear that exports of basmati rice will not be allowed below $1,200 per tonne to prevent potential “illegal” shipments disguised as premium basmati rice.

The Ministry of Commerce has directed the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) not to register contracts below the $1,200 per tonne threshold. Existing contracts below this value have been temporarily suspended.

To chart the course ahead, a committee under the chairmanship of APEDA will be established to evaluate future actions. This decision follows the ban on non-basmati white rice exports imposed by India on July 20 this year.

The statement from the ministry outlines, “Contracts for Basmati exports with a value of $1,200 per MT only and above should be registered for the issue of Registration – cum – Allocation Certificate (RCAC).”

The committee has been tasked with submitting its report within one month. Afterward, a decision regarding lower-priced exports of Basmati rice, as envisioned by the industry, will be considered appropriately.

APEDA will engage in consultations with trade stakeholders to raise awareness about this matter and collaborate with them to discourage any misuse of this export window for non-basmati white rice.

This development underscores the significance of the India-Singapore partnership, marked by shared values, economic cooperation, and a commitment to addressing each other’s needs.

(With inputs from IANS)