Mukherjee predicts 15 million ton shortfall in paddy production

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday predicted a 14-15 million ton shortfall in paddy production and procurement in 2009-10.

Interacting with the media on the sidelines of a Union Bank event, Mukherjee said : "There are some estimates that grain production will be less -- 14-15 million tons."

He added that the country might import rice to shore up its stocks.

"There is a projection that there will be a shortfall of our Kharif crop. So, we may have to make some imports," Mukherjee said.

"As of now, the government has six million ton of surplus rice and seven million ton of wheat stocks," he added.

Mukherjee said the government is waiting for the assessment of sub-normal southwest monsoon and the impact of floods.

During the 2008-09 Kharif season, country's rice production stood at 84.5 million ton, compared to an estimate of 69.45 million ton during the current fiscal.

Commenting on the Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) inflows Mukherjee said the surge in FII inflows is not a matter of concern and measures will be taken to counter it, if distortions emerge.

FIIs have put in a whopping over Rs 71,900 crore so far this year in the country's bourses, the highest ever investment made in rupee terms in a single year. (ANI)

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