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India to give 5 percent subsidy for non-basmati rice exports for four months: government

A woman winnows rice in a field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, will give incentives for non-basmati rice shipments to help boost flagging overseas sales, the government said in an order reviewed by Reuters.

The government will give a subsidy of 5 percent for non-basmati rice exports for the four months to March 25, 2019, the trade ministry said in the order dated Nov. 22.

The subsidy will help accelerate exports in the next few months, Nitin Gupta, vice president of the rice business at Olam India, told Reuters.

India’s non-basmati rice exports have weakened this year despite a weaker rupee that makes the grain cheaper for holders of other currencies.

India’s rice exports fell 9.6 percent to 5.8 million tonnes in the first six months of the financial year that began in April, according to official government data, as Bangladesh, a leading buyer, cut purchases due to a bumper harvest.

The decision to give financial support for non-basmati rice exports would also help keep local prices steady, especially when new-season supplies tend to drag prices down, said B. V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.

New-season rice supplies have already started arriving in the local market.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Writing by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Tom Hogue