Ban on non-basmati rice exports: Cabinet

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New Delhi, Oct 9 (UNI) The government today placed an immediate ban on the export of non-basmati rice to meet the growing demand within the country.

The ban comes in the wake of rising offtake for the public distribution system (PDS) and other welfare measures for the poor, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.

The move was approved at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Rice offtake by states had doubled in the past five years -- from 105 lakh tones in 2002 to 212 lakh tonnes this year, Mr Chidambaram said.

The issue of exports would, however, be reviewed from time to time, depending upon production and availability, he said.

Basmati rice would continue to be allowed for exports and there was no restriction whatsoever, the Minister clarified.

UNI

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