India extends 20pc duty on rice export, onion export to remain on hold

Different varieties of rice are displayed at a wholesale market at Pahartali in Chattogram on 19 January 2024.Prothom Alo

The government of India has decided to extend its order imposing a 20 per cent duty on exports of parboiled rice which will remain in effect until further notice.

The central government of the neighbouring country imposed the  duty on export in August last year until 31 March to keep the supply and prices of the staple food stable within the country.

The latest order regarding the duty was issued on Wednesday.

Quoting a government notification, Indian media outlet The Economic Times reported that the country’s finance ministry said the 20 per cent export duty will continue beyond 31 March without an end date.

People in India like other countries are also experiencing high inflation rates, which is a thorny issue for the incumbent government of Narendra Modi as the country is going into Lok Shabha elections this year, say analysts.

That is why the government of India has also put brakes on export of non-basmati rice and onions.

The price of onions shot up 40.62 per cent in Lasalgaon, the largest wholesale onion market in India on 19 February from the price of 17 February.

But the prices fell at the market after the government announced that the ban on exports of onions will continue till 31 March, said another report of The Economic Times.

The government of India, however, said that despite the overall ban on export of onion, the kitchen item will be exported to six countries in a limited amount at the G2G (government to government) level.

Though the media reports say that the government has taken this decision due to the recommendations of the country’s external affairs ministry, they could not say the amount or time of starting of the export.

The six countries are – Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bahrain, Bhutan and Nepal.