No plans to import rice immediately: Govt | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No plans to import rice immediately: Govt

delhi Updated: Dec 07, 2009 20:35 IST
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There is no immediate need to import rice as the country has enough stocks to manage demand, the government said on Monday.

"The government has assessed the stock position of rice and decided that import of rice for the central pool is not required at this stage," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Lok Sabha.

However, if the current trend of rice procurement shows a shortfall, the government may consider importing rice to ensure its availability in the domestic market at affordable price, the minister said.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had Nov 18 said that India might import rice to shore up its stocks.

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

The government expects a shortfall of about 15 million tonnes in kharif production due to flood and drought that hit the standing crops.

During the 2008-09 kharif season, India's rice production stood at 84.5 million tonnes, compared to an estimate of 69.45 million tonnes during this year's season.

The country logged record grain output last year (July-June), estimated at 233.87 million tonnes. But the failure of monsoon -- on which depends 60 percent of India's agriculture -- cast a shadow on this year's crop.