NEW DELHI: India is not considering imposing any restrictions on the exports of non-basmati parboiled rice, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said on Tuesday.
He was responding to reports that Delhi was considering imposing a tax on shipments of parboiled rice.
Last month, India surprised buyers by imposing a ban on the export of widely consumed non-basmati white rice, following a ban on broken rice exports last year.
Currently, there are no restrictions on the exports of parboiled rice, which constitutes nearly a third of India’s total rice exports.
Rice prices in Asia soared to the highest level in almost 15 years this month after the South Asian nation announced a ban on some exports and on concerns around the outlook for Thailand’s production.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up efforts to cool domestic food prices in India ahead of an election early next year, recently targeting the rising cost of onions.
India recently imposed a 40% export duty on onions in an attempt to improve domestic supplies.
A finance ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether parboiled rice might face new curbs.
India has already banned exports of broken rice and non-basmati white rice, curbed shipments of wheat and sugar, and restricted stockpiling of some crops. The nation is also considering abolishing a 40% import levy on wheat and selling tomatoes and grains from state reserves to improve supplies.
Rainfall in key rice growing states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh has been 15% lower than normal so far this season, raising concerns about domestic supply. The staple is the country’s biggest food grain crop that has grown during the rainy season.