Government will ban all wheat, non-Basmati rice exports: Pawar

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New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today informed the Rajya Sabha that the Government would stop all exports of non-Basmati rice and wheat, and bear half of the subsidy on diesel offered to farmers by the states in order to counter the deficient rainfall.

Pawar announced these decisions on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleagues were briefed on the monsoon situation and Kharif sowing.

Allaying fears of shortage of foodgrains, Pawar said, "Stock position is quite comfortable. We have sufficient stock position for 13 months in our kitty."

Pawar was worried over runaway rise in prices of Arhar dal to Rs 95-100 a kg, he said "this will be a temporary phenomenon. A financial support for states is under consideration to help in this regard."

However, he did not disclose the import strategy as it could impact global prices.

Elaborating the measures to tide over the situation, Pawar said exports of non-Basmati rice and wheat, which was allowed through diplomatic channel, would be completely banned.

"We are going to stop it. We will take the financial burden," he said, replying to a Calling Attention Notice.

Centre will also consider how loans taken by farmers can be rescheduled, he said, adding "We are going to extend some concessions or other facilities. We will take decision. We will not take any coercive method for loan recovery".

The Centre would also bear 50 per cent of the subsidy on diesel given by Bihar to farmers, Pawar said, adding that it would extend similar help to other states. (ANI)

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